Abu Dhabi leads region in recovery for employment opportunities

Published September 16th, 2009 - 01:07 GMT

Abu Dhabi is leading the recovery from the economic downturn in Gulf careers and employment, now accounting for 23 per cent of all advertised jobs in the GCC, according to research by Middle East online recruitment firm, GulfTalent.com.

Over the first six months of this year the UAE capital’s share of jobs advertised in the region grew by 9 per cent over the same period last year, while other GCC countries experienced either a drop or modest increase in the number of jobs advertised.

This has emerged in the countdown to NAJAH, the leading education, training, and careers exhibition taking place in Abu Dhabi next month which this year takes on extra significance as an event designed to boost recruitment activity in the region.  The annual event has grown exponentially since its launch in 2007, and organisers IIR Middle East expect record numbers of job seekers and visitors this year.

Major employers like Abu Dhabi Finance and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Authority (ADWEA) will use the event, running from 20-22 October at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, to spotlight career opportunities in the wake of soaring job applications in recent months.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s volume of advertised jobs rose by 15 per cent to 20 per cent, Qatar’s by 9 per cent to 13 per cent and Oman’s by 2 per cent to 3 per cent , with Bahrain and Kuwait both experiencing drops of three per cent to 4 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.  Dubai still leads the Gulf in terms of overall volume of jobs, but now accounts for only 30 per cent of advertised jobs, a 13 per cent decline from 2008.

Abu Dhabi Finance has received hundreds of CVs from highly qualified graduates and young professionals since its launch last year. Hiring standards are rigorous as the company interviews an average of 40 candidates for every position, but it is committed to reinforcing its team as it expands. 

“As the public’s awareness of Abu Dhabi Finance has grown we have seen a commensurate notable rise in CVs submitted from job seekers,” said the company’s CEO, Philip Ward. “We expect the number of applicants will keep increasing as our reputation as an employer of choice grows.”

ADWEA is focused on the recruitment of UAE nationals with exemplary university records.  The company is committed to meeting Emiratisation targets, and UAE nationals already account for 65 per cent of employees in executive positions and 45 per cent in senior staff positions.
ADWEA is particularly focusing on increasing the ranks of talented local youths to fill junior staff positions and build their careers with training and targeted promotions.  As UAE nationals under 20 years old account for half of the local population, interest is high in permanent positions and the company will use NAJAH to increase its appeal and speak directly to young nationals. 

“One of the exhibition’s primary concentrations is career building,” said Lucy Clarke, Exhibition Director for NAJAH.  “Recent graduates and professionals can interact firsthand with renowned local and international companies seeking to hire, and discuss stable employment opportunities in Abu Dhabi and the other emirates.”

A diverse group of organisations, including the UAE Air Force and Air Defence, Invest AD (The Abu Dhabi Investment Company), Taweelah Asia Power Company (TAPCO), Abu Dhabi Media Company, and Etihad Airways will exhibit at NAJAH to discuss career development with potential candidates.


The Careers Forum, a brand-new feature, will allow graduates and professionals to hear from experienced career advisors, and industry experts. The forum will cover a variety of related topics from changing careers to taking charge of your career development plan. Several career-enhancing workshops such as CV Clinic, perfecting the interview technique and developing a professional development plan will be conducted by career experts.

An assessment centre run by AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organisation, will allow students and graduates to assess their skills and discover their strengths within a workplace environment. Job profiling sessions and the career advice lounge will help narrow the field, allowing visitors to choose best-fit vocations for their talents.  Free consultations will help job-seekers to improve CVs and hone interview techniques.

NAJAH also caters to students investigating higher education for undergraduate and postgraduate study.  Leading universities in the region use the event, now in its third year, as a platform to initiate contact with school leavers and explain the benefits of higher education for career building and life skills.

Caption: Abu Dhabi is the destination of choice for graduates and professionals seeking employment, as companies in the UAE capital continue to hire despite the economic slowdown. Major companies and organisations from the Middle East will be taking part in NAJAH, 20-22 October 2009 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

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