The latest Middle East and North Africa Job Index survey conducted by, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has shown that in the next three months, 30% of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) employers are definitely hiring, with an additional 27% stating that they are ‘probably hiring’ – an increase of two per cent  in both instances in comparison to results gathered in Q3 2012.


In the UAE, 35% of the companies are ‘definitely hiring’ in the next three months(compared to 28% in Q3 of 2012), with 22% stating that they are probably hiring. In a year’s time, 67% of companies are expecting to hire new employees.

“The clear improvement in the number of jobs to be available in the coming three and 12 months is a positive sign for the UAE’s economy. We have seen a regional increase in terms of the numbers of employment opportunities, and this is a good indicator of the region’s growth and development,” said SuhailMasri, VP of Sales, “At, we specialise in gathering the information that matters most to employers and employees across the region as we aim to empower jobseekers and employers alike by giving them the tools to find their dream job and top talent respectively.”

The majority of companies in the UAE (67%) are expecting to hire up to 10 employees in the coming three months – 2% lower than the regional prospects of 69%. Employers in the UAE consider an educational background in engineering to be most important for new hires, followed by business management and commerce. They also consider good communication skills to be most important when seeking a new hire, followed by the ability to be a cooperative, helpful and flexible team player, and having good leadership skills. Companies will look to hire candidates who have experience in team management, computer skills, sales and marketing, engineering, and those who have between three to seven years of experience.

Respondents believe that the industries that attract and retain the top talent in the UAE are banking and finance, and oil, gas and petrochemicals, followed closely by construction.

Across the MENA

Across the region, multinational private sector companies will be hiring the highest number of new employees in the next three months, and will continue to be the biggest source of employment in a year’s time. Within the next three months, they are looking to hire predominantly at junior executive level, followed by executives and coordinators.

“A high number of lower-tier jobs is good news for new graduates. This provides a more open field at entry-level, which will give first-time jobseekers more opportunities to find employment in the industries that they wish,” said SundipChahal, CEO, YouGov.

Regionally, the most desirable qualifications for candidates are in business management, commerce,engineering, and computer science.Good communication skills in English and Arabic are most desirable by employers, though being a cooperative, helpful and flexible team player is also considered highly. In terms of experience, most highly regarded is the ability to manage a team, followed by computer skills and sales and marketing.

Four out of ten respondents (38%) state that their current country of residence is more attractive than others in the Middle East, with the UAE topping the list of the most attractive countries in the region, followed by Qatar and KSA.

Similarly, 43% believe that the industry they are currently working in is more attractive as a potential employer, in comparison to others. Banking and finance, and telecommunications (33% each) are considered to be the industries that are attracting and retaining the top talent in the respondents’ countries, followed by construction(32%) and oil, gas and petrochemicals (27%).

Data for the Job Index January 2013 survey was collected online from December 21st, 2012 to January 31st, 2013. Results are reported on a base of 4,349respondents. Countries that participated are UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.


Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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