Dubai - and its brands - continue to maintain strong appeal among job seekers that very few other cities can match.
To prove the point, thousands of people recently applied for just over 200 jobs at the opening of the UAE's largest IKEA store, which opened its door for the public on Wednesday.
Al Futtaim Group, one of the largest family-owned businesses in Dubai, owns IKEA franchise for the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, and Oman.
"Al Futtaim Group and IKEA are quite popular. But we were still taken aback when we had 90,000 applications when we opened vacancies for this store. We had fantastic support from our central HR team of Al-Futtaim. Together with our IKEA team, we had to go through all those 90,000 applications and had 36 assessment factors," Vinod Jayan, managing director of IKEA for UAE, Qatar, Egypt, and Oman, said at the inauguration of IKEA's latest outlet in the UAE on Wednesday.
"And to top it all, trainers spent 550 hours training the co-workers. We have more than 200 new coworkers here (in the new store). We are and we will continue to invest in coworkers and their core competence. We are expanding a lot more in the coming months in UAE, Oman, and Cairo," he said.
Jayan had earlier told Khaleej Times that IKEA will recruit 1,500 more people in the next 2-3 years, doubling its existing workforce. The group will also open outlets in Sharjah, Oman, and Egypt.
In addition to the IKEA store, Al-Futtaim Group also opened a new shopping mall - Festival Plaza - in Jebel Ali on Wednesday.
Omar Al-Futtaim, vice-chairman of Al-Futtaim Group, said, the group has been transforming in the last two years. "We have been focusing on our customers, investing in technology and trying to mitigate any risk that might come across us from e-commerce."
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