Jobs index survey confirms Saudi Arabia and UAE as employment hubs

Published:  1 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia, UAE, Jobs
An inaugural survey into hiring trends and job opportunities in the Middle East has confirmed the UAE and Saudi Arabia as the two top jobs markets.’s Middle East Jobs Index Survey is the first of its kind in the region, and covers the Middle East and North Africa. Completed last January, it placed the Emirates and Saudi as having a growing demand for graduates and post-graduates in the engineering and business sectors, predicting a 24 and 22 per cent growth respectively in the two fields.

However, in spite of the Saudi government’s recent commitment to saudization, qualified Saudis are concerned about their job prospects in the domestic market. Claims are being made that expatriate workers are dominating the jobs scene and taking the highest-paying positions.

Contrastingly, expats are afraid they may not be chosen for high-paying positions due to the increasingly tough labour laws, including the recently-introduced tax on expat workers. One Saudi engineers said he struggled to find a suitable job after graduating and, having been successful after two years of trying, discovered that expat engineers with whom he was working were far better educated in the speciality.

The survey also revealed that multinational companies in the region were looking to increase their workforce by up to 62 per cent, with Saudis claiming that expats would be top of the hiring lists. However, Syrian Lujian Fuad, a business development officer for a construction company, feels that expats will still struggle against restrictive labour laws and the cost of employing workers from overseas.
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