Dubai's attractiveness among the global workforce is growing and the emirate has now been ranked among the world's top 10 most attractive cities where professionals want to move in search of greener pastures.
According to survey results released by global consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network on Sunday, Dubai jumped five positions to sixth with 12 per cent of survey respondents seeing the emirate as a destination for better opportunities.
Survey respondents rated the emirate more attractive than Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Singapore, Melbourne, Zurich, Geneva, Boston and Hong Kong, among others.
Dubai's growing attractiveness is attributed to law and order, falling cost of living, multicultural environment, low taxations and income tax-free salaries.
Pankaj Mundra, co-founder and managing partner of Dubai-based career facilitation firm Nimai, also attributed the regional hub's attractiveness to its tax-free environment with a great lifestyle and security for workers and their families; exposure to work with over 100 nationalities; exposure to the African market and GCC countries; and the exponential growth the learning opportunities.
He pointed out that jobs related to taxation and various finance roles for corporates especially for Expo 2020 Dubai are in demand.
"Multinational companies from Africa are opening their corporate offices in Dubai, which brings in opportunity for finance and IT professionals to support the new offices. There is also opportunity for investment bankers [CFAs] in perspective of conducting due diligence and valuations," said Mundra, who is also former chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India - Dubai Chapter.
In the future, people with an entrepreneurship mindset and who can provide business ideas to businesses will have great opportunities. Also, in technology, fintech companies will supplement and complement the existing financial services.
"In times to come, employers will prefer a young-generation population with creative and virgin ideas. In terms of qualification, experts in technology, retail, MBA finance and CFAs will be valuable," he added.
In addition, Abu Dhabi also jumped to the top 30 most attractive cities for the first time and was ranked 14th in the report. The UAE also shows up on the top 10 list of people in the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan African regions.
UAE survey respondents claimed good relationship with superiors, job security, career development, good relationship with colleagues and good work-life balance were the most important matters on the jobs.
Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn Mena, said the UAE has been leading the Mena region with an abundance of high-skilled jobs.
Matar pointed out that digital jobs pertaining to blockchain, 3D printing, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, robotics and artificial intelligence will shape the future of jobs in the region.
"We see the trend of digitisation is transforming business models across different sectors. Emerging technologies are now changing the pre-established definition of jobs, putting the spotlight on 'digital jobs'," he said.
According to a Bayt.com survey, small- and medium-sized companies and multinational companies have the highest hiring potential in the UAE in the long-term, with 89 per cent of them claiming to be hiring. Most of the new jobs will coming up in the sectors of business consultancy, consumer goods, hospitality and entertainment, banking and finance, and commerce and retail.
In terms of candidates' skills that are in demand in the UAE this year, being a 'team player and cooperative' emerged as the top skill to look for in a candidate by 49 per cent of employers, while 48 per cent of employers said good 'communication skills in Arabic and English' is a top skill. These were followed by 'ability to work under pressure' and 'good leadership skills'.
"Making a decision to pursue work in a new country is very personal. But there are larger forces too, including uncertainty about future government policy. Interestingly, we have found that cities can have brands that stand apart from their country's brand," said Mike Booker, managing director of The Network and a co-author of the report.
Most attractive cities by global workforce
Globally, London, New York, Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam were found to be the top five most attractive cities by the workforce.
The survey revealed that people's willingness to move abroad for work has fallen in the last few years with 57 per cent of workers want to move to another for work, which is seven percentage points less than 2014 survey.
The United States remained the most attractive country for workforce followed by Germany, Canada, Australia, UK, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and Japan. The survey results revealed that three European countries - the UK, France and Switzerland - lost attractiveness among the global workforce in 2018.
Though the US remained the most popular work destination overall, but it is now less attractive to people in Mexico and to those in a dozen other countries where it was previously the No.1 choice.
Germany's rise to the second spot comes at a time when other European countries - notably the UK and Switzerland - have themselves become more cautious about immigration. This has cast Germany, with its relative openness, in a more favourable light and boosted it over its European rivals in the rankings. Germany is now three places ahead of the UK, five places ahead of France, six places ahead of Switzerland and seven places ahead of Italy.
The survey was conducted among 366,000 workers and 6,000 recruiters in 197 countries.
By Waheed Abbas
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