Jobseekers at a the recent Careers UAE exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
There has been a slight uptick in employment in Dubai, with companies across the emirate opening nearly 50,000 vacancies for over a period of nine months in 2018, according to the latest official data.
From January to September last year, employers created 45,900 new jobs. This is a 1.8 per cent increase from the same period the previous year, figures released by the UAE Central bank showed.
The report cited Dubai as the main driver for growth in the UAE labour market for 2017 and 2018, posting a 0.7 per cent growth in September compared to a 0.03 per cent increase in June.
Employment growth rates in the emirate started to pick up in the third quarter of 2018, reaching quarter-on-quarter growth [of] around 0.7 per cent compared to 0.03 per cent in [the second quarter of] 2018.
Overall, the job situation across the country is “virtually stable”, with the rate of employment moderately growing by 1.6 per cent during the same period compared to a 2.6 per cent increase in the previous year.
That means companies are still hiring, but not in the same rate as in 2017.
So, where are you most likely to find new jobs?
New data suggest that jobseekers have more chances of landing an employment offer in the construction sector.
According to the central bank report, this sector accounts for about a third of the total workforce in the UAE, and posted a 1 per cent increase in jobs.
A number of UAE developers aim to deliver thousands of homes, hotel rooms and other projects before the hosting of the World Expo next year. The Dubai government alone has earmarked Dh15 billion to build roads and infrastructure projects in the run up to the global event.
Countries that have signed up for the event are likewise busy setting up their own pavilions at the venue, thereby creating business and employment opportunities within the construction industry.
Opportunities are also available in the real estate sector, which posted a 4.4 per cent employment growth, but new jobs may be hardest to find in companies in the services industry, which accounts for 20 per cent of the total workforce and where employment rate dropped by 1.3 per cent.
Slower employment growth was also driven by the manufacturing and transport, storage and communication sectors, which registered a decline of 1.1 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.
However, while jobs are still opening up in Dubai, the employment landscape in other emirates looks different.
According to the banking authority’s report, companies in Abu Dhabi alone shed thousands of jobs during the first three quarters of 2018, posting a 3.3 per cent decline in employment growth.
Staff cuts were also observed in the northern emirates, where openings dropped by 0.46 per cent in September compared to the previous quarter.