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Sat 6 Feb 2016 10:42 AM

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UAE tops MENA rankings for attracting, retaining exec talent

Global Talent Competitiveness Index ranks UAE 23rd out of 109 countries, ahead of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

UAE tops MENA rankings for attracting, retaining exec talent

The UAE continues to lead the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in a global ranking on countries' ability to attract and retain talented employees.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2015-16 by business school INSEAD, ranked the UAE as the world's best for retaining talent, a huge leap from 59th last year.

Overall, the GTCI placed the UAE 23rd out of 109 countries covered, ahead of Qatar at 24, Saudi Arabia at 42 and Kuwait at 51.

The UAE also maintained its top ranking for safety of employees during night hours while quality of executive education in management schools also rose, with the ranking improving from 24 in 2014 to 17 in 2015. 

Ranking for social mobility through improved economic circumstances also rose from 11 to eight while the use of social and virtual networks for career advancement contributed to the rise in ranking, from 10 in 2014 to seven this year.

Globally, the top three countries ranked on talent competitiveness were Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg.

Bruno Lanvin, executive director of Global Indices at INSEAD, and co-editor of the report, said: “With a very welcoming business climate and liberal tax policies that are conducive to investment, the UAE has shown tremendous leadership in achieving its vision of a knowledge-based economy.

"With its high standard of living and cosmopolitanism, the nation continues to attract and retain talent from the world over. The UAE’s commitment to embedding innovation in its technology infrastructure and all aspects of knowledge creation and its transfer is exemplary.”

He added: “Temporary economic mobility of highly skilled people may initially be seen as a loss for their country of origin, countries have to understand that this translates into a net gain when they return home. GCC countries have benefited from talent arriving from across the world and by building world-class universities to develop local human capital.

"The skills that an expat gains working in these dynamic markets, mixing with different cultures, are invaluable assets when he moves onwards. Such an international experience is what top organisations are looking for today.”

The report cited that mobility is vital to fill skill gaps; and a high proportion of innovative, entrepreneurial people were born or studied abroad. It is hence not surprising that top ranking countries, such as the UAE, have positioned themselves as desirable destinations for high-skilled workers.

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