In past years, MENA has been known primarily for a labour workforce revolving around construction and oil/gas sectors as they were building their infrastructure and relying on their countries’ oil economy. A recent report showed MENA startup funding rose by 31% in 2018 ($893M). With money pouring into the region for investments in fintech, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and all things tech, the demand for talent is growing with the rise of jobs in the Middle East.
A report from Bayt, shows skilled worker jobs increasing by 13.7% per quarter. On top of this, the International Monetary Fund estimates with the influx of post-secondary educated youth coming into the workforce, the MENA region will have 5.5 million new workers joining the labour force each year for the next five years.
Jobs in the Middle East that are the most in demand for 2019 have been IT professionals, software engineers, and other administrative roles such as marketing, sales, finance and accounting. Job demand changes region to region, with Abu Dhabi seeing primarily finance professionals, Kuwait seeing mostly Oil & Gas, Software engineers in Dubai, along with other tech talent, and jobs in Doha, Qatar, looking primarily for operations and project manager roles to meet the demands of proliferating construction projects in the country.
Other trends that we’ve noted is the cost for talent vary from region to region. The MENA region is starting to open up various visa programs to attract better talent into the region, the majority of talent being expats.
It is no surprise that as the Middle East adjusts from their oil economies into a digital age, that new jobs will be in demand. This calls for a change in the recruiting market, and how jobs are found. The recruitment space is growing and shifting to meet the demands of the new MENA market.