Job Prospects in UAE Going to be Tough

DUBAI: Tens of thousands of jobs in the retail, sales, HR, healthcare, IT and engineering sectors will remain open in the UAE for jobseekers from all over the world, including the Philippines, but human resources experts say it’s going to be a tough race as companies will opt for those who are really talented and flexible.

These experts told The Filipino Times companies now demand for employees who are not only committed but also talented with a can-do attitude to achieve their goals and tangible quota targets.

The technology-driven economy of the UAE also demands workers who are not only computer literate but fast learners, too, as the country slowly drifts into a more digital system of transactions.

“Hiring prospects in the UAE will be tougher next year,” said Vagelyn Federico, HR director at Dusit Thani Hotel and the current president of the Filipino Human Resources Practitioners in the UAE commonly known as FIL-HR.

“Companies are starting to close down or reduce their employees. Just recently, we had a meeting with labor attachés in Dubai and Abu Dhabi together with Filipino HR directors from different sectors and industries. And we looked at the current job employment situation in the UAE and sadly, all the sectors are very tight on hiring,” she added.

Lou Olvido Parroco, HR director at the Dubai office of the Canadian Energy Equipment Manufacturing, said most companies now also tend to invest on young professionals who can grow with them.

But the trend changes depending on the nature of business. In their case, the company has 150 employees, mostly in mid-career levels.

“We need mid-career experienced professionals in most of the positions we recruit for,” Parroco said in an interview.

Gina Tuazon Salazar, HR manager in an international company, said their policy is to hire candidates who can do multiple tasks to maximize their time spent while working.

She echoed the statement of other HR experts that companies will be more choosy in hiring talents starting next year to save on operational expenses.

“A lot of companies have started to close down, cost-cut and lay off some of their employees. Our company started to hire candidates who can do more than just one job, the so-called dual responsibility,” she said.

The HR expert said although their company requires multi-tasking, they compensate them with additional allowances as incentives.

“We maximize their capabilities and abilities in certain fields. So instead of hiring two, we just hire one. For that, we increase their allowances,” said Salazar who also disclosed that only 15 companies will participate at the upcoming Bayanihan Festival Jobs Fair scheduled for December 4 at Al Mamzar Park in Dubai.


For Filipinos who are gainfully employed in the UAE, HR experts advised them to perform well because the competition is going to be tough.

A good performance, the experts added, will also be their springboard for a merit-based increment or a competitive advantage if they apply for another job.

“To those who are working, stay in your jobs and perform well,” said Federico.

Parroco said their company and others as well prefer those who already have experience working in the UAE. That, added with good performance would increase chances of applicants to be hired.

For those who are still on a job-hunt, Salazar said they should be very resourceful and friendly to get leads and useful information.

“My advice to all hopeful jobseekers is to keep on checking/visiting job portals and to have great patience because the competition is really tough nowadays and will be more in the coming months. I encourage them to also go to job fairs,” said Salazar.

Nico Zalameda Capistrano, a bank officer in Dubai, said he’s happy to be given the chance to work in a multinational environment.

“The Middle East continues to amaze me with how it developed its countries. I see that Dubai invests seriously on people, hiring experienced and highly driven young adults. Perfect formula,” said Capistrano.

The UAE is home to more than 9 million people from about 200 different countries, with the bulk based in Dubai.

Saii Mansano said she left the Philippines for adventure and has been living in the UAE for the past three years now.

For her, success in Dubai is solely dependent on character and not education.

Ayna Gonzales, an operations executive, moved to Dubai to join her parents who have been in the UAE for almost 20 years now.

She considers the UAE home and hopes to prosper more as the country grows.

“In a city that never sleeps, you need people who don’t sleep too. It won’t function with oldies. Dubai hires young people for a reason – they don’t tire easily, they work hard and require cheaper wages than older ones,” she said.

Investors choice

Despite the volatile situation in the Middle East, the UAE remains a lucrative investment area for many foreign investors because it is viewed as a safe business haven in the MENA region.

Although there may be bumps on the road due to external factors like the war in neighboring Middle East countries, many foreign investors still believe the UAE is in for major developments in the travel and tourism industry and other sectors leading up to Dubai hosting World Expo 2020.

Their combined investments are guaranteed to generate more jobs and businesses in the UAE which is projected to welcome more than 22 million tourists in 2020.

According to Monster’s September 2015 Middle East Employment Index, online job listings in sales and business development rose by 45 percent compared to the same month last year.

Monster reported vacancies in HR and administration rose by 30 percent while the number of jobs advertised for engineering and production professionals increased by 28 percent over the same period.

The worst-hit job sectors are customer service professionals, with such listings dropping by 20 percent, Monster said.

Independent analysis by Barclay Simpson, Stanton Chase and Hays Group, also noted that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will keep on posting the biggest annual job growth rates in the region because of continued investments and economic activities in their countries.



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