UAE: Look to Global Talent as Oil and Gas Sector Grows


The population of Abu Dhabi is on the rise, with an average annual growth rate of 7.7 percent. This population growth was primarily due to migration as the rate of the natural increase of Abu Dhabi’s population only contributed to one-sixth of population growth, while emigration to the country made up the other five-sixths of growth. Likewise, the population of the Emirate of Dubai is chiefly made up of foreign male labor. In 2012, 76.12 percent of the population was male and 23.88 percent was female. This higher proportion of males, 319 to every 100 females, is due to the fact that the bulk of the workforce is made up of male expatriates who come to Dubai without additional family members.

According to Abu Dhabi’s Statistics Center, only 3.4 percent of workers work in industries related to mining and quarrying while 1.7 percent work in industries related to electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. Overall, job opportunities in the UAE are increasing. According to one poll, they have gone up 15 percent year-on-year. Reflective of this change are university enrollments. 42 percent of tertiary students in Dubai alone were studying business, and nearly one-third of the 1.3 million workers in Dubai have some form of post-secondary education.

The private sector in the UAE is continuing to look for additional talent. 63 percent of large, local companies are looking to hire and 59 percent of multi-nationals located in the region are looking to hire. 28 percent are looking for business graduates or postgraduates and an additional 25 percent are looking for individuals with graduate or postgraduate engineering degrees. In the oil and gas sector, there remains a shortage of skilled and unskilled labor which puts added pressure on recruitment teams to find the right talent in the timeframe it is needed.