and YouGov survey reveals that 34% of MENA professionals are considering moving to a new industry

Press release
Published December 5th, 2011 - 10:58 GMT, the Middle East’s number on job site, the Middle East’s number on job site

A recent survey conducted by, the Middle East’s number on job site, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has unveiled that 34% of MENA professionals are considering an industry shift mostly into the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry (14%). However, 35% of respondents are content in the industries they are currently employed in. 

Reasons for Change

Of the top five industries that employees are considering moving into (oil, gas and petrochemicals; banking and finance; IT; human resources; manufacturing), the top motivational factor is money. Across each of these five sectors, the second reason cited is career growth opportunities followed by better job security. 

Preferred Industries

Regionally, the preference for employment opportunities tends to lean towards the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry, with 20% of survey respondents saying it is the best industry to work in, in their country of residence. The reasons for this are better career growth (25%), better job security (22%), and better remuneration packages (19%). 

Second most popular is the government/civil service sector, with 11% of respondents citing preference, predominantly for better job security (62%), followed by the fact that this sector was least impacted by the recession (10%), and the better work-life balance offered (9%). 

Banking and finance comes in as third most desirable, opted for by 10% of respondents. The reasons cited were better career growth (30%), better job security (20%) and better remuneration packages (18%). 

“Oil, gas and petrochemicals is an industry that has long been associated with this region, and it is still clearly a favoured sector to work in with the majority of those looking to change careers preferring it. The trend is that employees today are looking for better salaries, job security and sectors that are less likely to collapse in a downturn, a clear sign that the recession is still affecting opinions,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at “ is an ideal resource for employees who wish to explore further career options, with thousands of jobs covering all sectors readily available through the convenience of an online portal.” 

Perceptions in the UAE

Respondents in the UAE see the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry as having the best salary packages (52%) and non-monetary benefits (38%). Following close on the heels in terms of perceived best salaries is banking and finance (22%), with government and civil service ranking third (20%). As for benefits, the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry is followed by airlines with 24%, and government and civil service with 23%. 

In terms of work-life balance, oil, gas and petrochemicals continues to dominate with 29% saying it is the best industry in the UAE to offer this equation, government and civil service ranked second with 28%, followed by  banking and finance with 20%. 

When it comes to the industry offering the best career growth in the UAE, 38% said oil, gas and petrochemicals, 21% banking and finance, and 15% airlines. 

Oil, gas and petrochemicals (29%) also seems to be hiring most in the UAE, followed by construction (28%) and banking and finance (17%). 

Oil, gas and petrochemicals tops again the list, this time as the industry retaining the best talent in the UAE (37%) followed by airlines (20%) and banking and finance (18%). 

As far as local talent is concerned, government/civil service ranks first with 24% saying it is most favourable and popular with local talent. Banking and finance and oil, gas and petrochemicals followed both at 9%. 

Respondents in the UAE believe that construction (31%) is the industry that has downsized most in recent years; real estate (10%) and banking and finance (7%) are also considered to have been hit hard. 

Construction (14%) is considered to be the most popular industry for expatriates in t he UAE. However, there is a paltry 2% margin between the lead position and the industry that ranked second, which is oil, gas and petrochemicals, with 12%. Banking and finance came in third most popular, with 10%. 

Government jobs are considered to be extremely favourable by 50% of UAE-based respondents. 

Industries considered to be the most favourable and popular for women in the UAE are education and academia (17%), banking and finance (15%) and healthcare and medical services (9%). As for fresh graduates, banking and finance is most popular (17%), followed by IT (11%) and government and civil service (10%). 

“While the oil, gas and petrochemical industry is clearly a leading choice for many, it appears that the region’s banking and finance sector is up-and-coming for employment opportunities. That it is the top favoured industry for new graduates shows that there is clearly a demand for more jobs within that particular sector,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov. 

Data for the Top Industries survey was collected online from November 1 - 21, 2011, with 8,664 respondents aged 18+, representing Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, KSA, Syria, Tunisia and the UAE. 

Background Information is the leading job site in the Middle East and North Africa, connecting job seekers with employers looking to hire. Every day, thousands of new job vacancies are listed on the award-winning platform from the region's top employers.

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