DUBAI LABOR MARKET UPDATE: ‘There is more supply than demand’

DUBAI: Due to its being a state-of-the-art international city, Dubai has been attracting expats from all over the world, wanting to work at a place that has gained global center stage.

There are some concerns, however.

“When people come to UAE on a visit visa hoping or even expecting to find a job they never consider the fact that many thousands of others are doing the same thing. They focus on their demand for jobs never considering the supply side of the equation,” said Cristina Calaguian, managing director at Dagaz HR Consultancy and Recruitment Company.

Cristina Calaguian
Cristina Calaguian

She added: “The people who come in fresh are not always aware of the cost of living. And they always assumed that if they accept a job at a low starting salary they can easily jump to a better position later. This means that the current residents who are looking for a job are competing with people who are accepting lower salaries. Some companies appear to be terminating long term employees and replacing them with new hires on lower basic salary and with lesser end of service liabilities.”

Hikmat Beaini, director of communications at University of Dubai who also has background in recruitment has told The Filipino Times in previous interviews that the UAE labor market has more than enough talents.

Hikmat Beaini
Hikmat Beaini

“The market is competitive. You have more people looking for opportunities than jobs and this will make it difficult for UAE to accept everyone or give opportunities to everyone, especially to people coming from Asia, even from Eastern Europe.”

Beaini added, “The economy is not bad. The job market is not bad, but there is more supply than demand. The economy is strong, but more people are coming because the economy is strong and it attracts more people to come because the standard of living is good; it attracts more people to come and try it.”

This is a problem, Beaini said, explaining, “We have to select the best from the best.”

He said this is the trend “and if you cannot find a job, get a sales job which abounds and wait till the opportunity comes.”

“The certainty of having a long-term stable employment is gradually moving towards very specialist kind of jobs,” said Sinha. “That’s where the world is going.”

Ashutosh Sinha
Ashutosh Sinha

Meantime, Ashutosh Sinha, head of Landmark Group’s talent acquisition strategy section, said the market is gearing toward full digitization which, in turn has created two workforce populations – the “digital natives,” the tech-savvy millennials raised in schools to be IT knowledgeable; and the “digital migrants,” those who have to move up from the manufacturing world to the digital age.

“You have to digitize to make yourself marketable. If you don’t you will get jobs, but how successful can you be? Sinha said, adding that “digitizing has become the horizontal layer that everyone needs to have.”

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