A recent study suggests that the UAE is undergoing a transformation into an employer’s market, where businesses have gained the upper hand in selecting candidates from an increasing pool of job seekers.

According to the 2024 Salary Guide from Robert Half, the job sector in the UAE is transitioning into an employer’s market.

This shift is attributed to the rising number of individuals relocating to the UAE, drawn by its luxurious lifestyle and favorable living conditions in comparison to other countries.

Data from the Dubai Statistics Centre reveals that Dubai’s population has surged by over 84,400 since January 2023.

Additionally, the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs reports a 63 percent increase in residency visas issued during the January-June 2023 period.

This surge indicates a growing interest from companies looking to tap into expanding opportunities in the UAE, while professionals are also flocking to the region in search of better prospects.

Gareth El Mettouri, the associate director for the Middle East at Robert Half, notes that the UAE has become an enticing destination for expatriates, resulting in heightened demand.

The influx of talent has intensified competition for job roles, prompting candidates to accept lower compensation packages in their pursuit of establishing themselves in the Middle East.

This trend has a dampening effect on overall salary growth, particularly during times of high inflation and rising living costs.

El Mettouri further emphasizes that the UAE government’s efforts to create a business-friendly environment are yielding positive results. Many companies are setting up new offices in the region, fueling demand for talent across various sectors.

However, the global and regional instability has prompted some companies to pause their hiring plans until next year, in anticipation of gaining more clarity regarding the global economic landscape.

In their outlook for 2024, Robert Half points out that the job market is evolving, with candidates now prioritizing stability and opportunities for career advancement over higher salaries.

While companies continue to make new hires, they are increasingly risk-averse due to the unpredictable economic conditions worldwide.

The report also highlights a unique scenario in which candidates are relocating to the UAE without securing job offers in advance, leading them to accept positions quickly to obtain the necessary visas.

This situation has placed businesses in a position of strength in negotiations.

According to the 2024 Salary Guide, employees with 3 to 5 years of experience in their current roles are the most likely to express dissatisfaction and consider leaving.

Meanwhile, individuals aged 25 to 34 are among those most inclined to change jobs before the end of the year, with nearly 27 percent of those under 24 seeking to transition to new positions within the first three months of 2024.



Last Updated: 08 November 2023