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The UAE job market in a state of flux

03-Jul-12

Toby Simpson - Gulf News

Any regional resurgence will only boost its attractiveness in a variety of sectors.

It is widely recognised that the UAE has benefitted from the Arab Spring. Cash flowed into the banking system as a flight to safety, and even more of the brightest and best from around the region lost hope in their motherlands and headed for the gleaming towers of the region’s most influential economic hub.

But as glimmers of hope return to regional economies will the reverse be true? Will the talent dry up? If Egyptian brotherhood turns out to be less radical than feared, if political certainty returns to Lebanon and should Iraq and Libya begin to exercise some of their massive potential, will UAE businesses struggle to hire?

There will be a slow tightening of candidate supply from these countries, but the effects will be negated by the demographics of local population change. Hundreds of thousands of young Emiratis with a strong education behind them and a global mindset will hit an increasingly competitive job market over the next decade, and the relative cost of hiring nationals should fall significantly.

In any event, the UAE has made such superb gains in increasing its economic sphere of influence that any regional resurgence will only boost the attractiveness of our job market in a wide range of sectors from investment banking to logistics. Challenges from the lower end of the labour spectrum will emerge as India closes the wealth gap, but overall hope is a good thing for the UAEs’ nationals, its residents and the region as a whole

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