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Looking for a job in the UAE? It might be more difficult than you think



The UAE has been gaining popularity with expats over the years, striking the perfect with the perfect balance of being an adult playground and having fantastic career opportunities.

However, recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley’s latest UAE Employment Monitor shows that although the number of UAE jobseekers rose 22 percent in 2016, the number of available positions has dropped by 12 percent.

“It was a more challenging start to the year than usual,” Trefor Murphy, managing director for the Middle East and North Africa region at Morgan McKinley, told Arabian Business. “The general feeling is that it’s a tough market out there, but then again, it’s a tough market everywhere at the moment.”

One area that the report noted has significantly increased the number of jobseekers is the oil and gas industry. Financial services and banking have also been affected, with less available jobs.

However, according to Morgan McKinley, the good news is that the oil price is starting to level, slowing down redundancies. One area that has seen growth is the demand for consultants and consultancy firms, as well as fixed term contracts.

Trefor Murphy said: “Although the market is not going at full throttle, there is still a general air of optimism with employers using this period to drive organisational efficiencies. We see this in the increased use of consultants and fixed term projects.”

And there’s more good news. A survey by Naukrigulf shows that 50 percent of recruiters in the UAE are expecting new jobs to appear in the next six months. Tarun Aggarwal, business head  of, said: “The outlook for the UAE’s job market is seeing a shift in expectation of new jobs creation in spite of the slump feared due to lower oil and trading revenues.

“Overall, the job market looks positive but with a lower expectation of increments for the workforce,” he continued.

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