Gulf States focusing on cheaper local talent and Asian expats

Published:  6 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship, Dubai, UAE, Jobs
A new Dubai initiative aimed at boosting Emiratis’ skills is likely to affect job security for expatriates.

The emirate’s new strategy will attempt to boost the skill-sets of local job seekers, thus increasing their participation min the local jobs market. Unemployed locals will be given preference for jobs in the financial, technical, commercial, energy, social and tourism sectors, inevitably reducing the number of positions left available for expat talent. According to Dubai's Crown Prince, the initiative will empower local workers and ensure their leadership in a number of key strategic sectors. He added the plan is top priority for Dubai lawmakers as it is aimed at preparing the citizenship for a bright future.

The new strategy is to progress in three stages involving the development of future skills, an analysis of labour market needs and an awareness programme. Once the data is processed and the challenges of employing Emiratis have been assessed, the proposed initiative will be rolled out. Local expat professionals aren’t over-impressed with the issue, as it’s almost certain to reduce the number of career opportunities available in the emirate and will also affect the high salaries for which the region in famous.

Meanwhile, UAE employers are looking to expand their workforces by taking on a majority of expat professionals from Asian countries as they cost less to hire than their Western equivalents. The projection came about via a survey of some 300 hiring managers and includes a 9 per cent rise in UAE employment during the rest of this year. Approaches to Asian candidates by UAE employers have risen by 12 per cent whilst those to Western and Arab expats fell by 10 and eight per cent respectively. Average salaries for Asian talent are some 40 per cent lower that those offered to Western expats and 20 per cent lower than those for Arab applicants.
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