Revealed: the most sought-after jobs in the UAE

Robert Half UAE says analysts, developers and finance managers top the list of in-demand roles for 2019 as employers focus on digitalisation
Revealed: the most sought-after jobs in the UAE
With the rise of AI and automation playing a major role in evolving the workplace, Robert Half said it is seeing a widened skills gap impacting the growing war for talent.
By Sam Bridge
Fri 31 May 2019 12:46 AM

Robert Half UAE has revealed that analysts, developers and finance managers top the list of in-demand roles for 2019 as employers focus on digitalisation.

According to its 2019 Salary Guide, over half (51 percent) of business leaders in Dubai and 45 percent in Abu Dhabi say their primary concern is the evolution of the world of work in this increasingly competitive marketplace.

With the rise of AI and automation playing a major role in evolving the workplace, Robert Half said it is seeing a widened skills gap impacting the growing war for talent.

It added that businesses need to adapt in order to successfully attract and retain top performers in this market.

Gareth El Mettouri, UAE associate director at Robert Half said: “Confidence is increasing for businesses in the Middle East. More than two-fifths of CEOs are very confident in their growth prospects over the next year, and 40 percent expect the outlook to remain positive over the next three years.”

He added: “If we look further into the way businesses are growing, digitisation, automation and artificial intelligence continue to transform the world of work and are quickly becoming necessary in meeting the needs of a rapidly evolving market.

"For hiring managers this means incorporating these processes into their business, however, there is growing concern over hiring the necessary talent that is needed to match the demands of the current professional world. This has led employers to focus on improving retention, offering more initiatives such as renumeration packages and flexible working and not overlooking the importance of soft skills as integral to a candidate’s profile.”

The top 10 roles and their respective pay brackets are listed below:

Financial Planning Analysts ($82,200 – $123,500)
Revenue forecasting and cost minimisation is an important focus for many businesses in accounting and finance. They are keen to get the insights they need to plan accordingly for the automation and digital transformation in 2019. For this reason, an increase in strategic and analytics roles will become more prominent for accounting and finance businesses.

Developers ($52,300 – $125,100)
As technology and digitisation continue to drive the economic revolution, the rise in the number of start-ups and fintech firms is placing more pressure on the demand for web and full stack developers.

Finance Managers ($103,000 – $165,000)
The role of finance managers with 2-3 years of experience are in high demand. Specifically, those who are willing to grow and develop within firms. In accordance with this, flexible working has become a remuneration staple for businesses looking to offer more benefits for long-term employees.

Management Accountants ($63,500 – $117,800)
As businesses look for more insights from their finance teams, it’s prompted the need for management accountants with 2-3 years part-qualified experience within firms to drive continued commercial success.

Network Engineers ($62,200 – $104,600)
The growing adoption of technology in the UAE shows more businesses looking to embrace platforms that enable the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as a range of digital transformation programmes as businesses try to keep up with market growth. In this increasingly successful market network engineers are in great demand across tech firms.

Paralegals ($64,000 – $91,500)
There is a bigger demand for paralegals in private practice who can support with contract reviews. Paralegals who have bilingual skills and current local knowledge are of great advantage to the in-house legal departments of multinationals.

Compliance Officers - Offshore and Onshore ($58,900 – $127,500)
FSRA authorised compliance officers are in huge demand in financial services. With the increasingly regulated environment, it’s important to have a qualified and skilful compliance team on hand, alongside strong commercial and business acumen.

IT Project Managers ($71,900 – $163,500)
ERP implementation, shared services centres and digital transformation projects are seeing added pressure on the short supply of effective IT Project Managers with local experience. However, this also means that candidates with managerial skills are the most sought after.

EAs and PAs ($49,000 – $98,000)
Business support professionals who can help to alleviate the administrative pressures from executives are always in demand. EAs and PAs who have the right cultural fit and can adapt to the business and the needs of their business executive are key.

Senior Counsel ($89,000 – $220,500)
As businesses look to minimise their legal advisory costs, there is strong potential to move from private practice to in-house positions. This move is proving popular as mid-to-senior level counsel look to increase their career progression alongside an increased work-life balance.

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