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Qatar's labour demands to stay strong

by Benjamin Millington on Dec 20, 2008

190,000 Filipinos are already working in Qatar
190,000 Filipinos are already working in Qatar

Qatar is set to hire 37,000 Filipino workers in its construction, energy and services sectors during 2009, according to Philippines president Maria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Arroyo made the announcement following a meeting in Qatar with 27 of the country’s biggest employers who informed her of their prospective job orders.

Arroyo added that Qatar is defying the global financial crisis by continuing to employ workers on top of the 190,000 Filipinos estimated to be employed there at present.

This year Qatar hired 56,277 Filipinos, making it the fourth-biggest destination for Filipino workers in the world and third in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, said a government statement.

Qatar-based recruitment consultant Bob Wallington said Filipinos are a good choice for filling technical positions in construction such as draftsmen and surveyors.

“You don’t get very many Filipino labourers because they just won’t come for the kind of money offered,” said Wallington.

“From India you can get a carpenter for AED800, from the Philippines you’d have to pay double.

“This is partly because the Philippines has imposed a minimum wage for all categories which we think is a very good thing.”

Wallington has shifted the focus of his recruitment agency from Dubai to Qatar to take advantage of the country’s “excellent manpower regulations” and future growth.

He believes Qatar is better equipped to deal with the economic crisis because of its oil reserves.

“Over the next two years there will be big things happening in Qatar and that’s coming from the top. They will definitely continue to increase their labour force despite the global financial situation.

“While in Dubai 300,000 Filipinos are going back because of the downturn,” he said.