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Expat hiring most difficult in KSA, easiest in UAE

Construction firms in the UAE are continuing to hire despite a slowdown in project awards due to oil prices, jobs website GulfTalent has found

Labour demand remains high in the GCC. [Representational image]
Labour demand remains high in the GCC. [Representational image]

Construction firms in the UAE and across the Gulf are still in pursuit of employees. 

Local daily Emirates 24x7 reported the search has, however, eased in comparison to hiring levels last year. 

A panel of experts at a forum organised recently by Gulf Talent stated that skilled professionals are still in demand in the sector.

Within the GCC, the UAE remains the most attractive market for talent.

According to the Gulf Talent panel, the UAE remains the easiest market for hiring expatriate talent, while Saudi Arabia is the most challenging.

The number of construction vacancies on GulfTalent, a job search website, are highest at 283 in the UAE, followed by retail, engineering, and real estate. 

Project managers, sales consultants, quantity surveyors, planning engineers, mechanical engineers, construction managers, project engineers and design engineers are in demand, the report added. 

The panel found that with public sector spending under pressure from lower oil prices, award of new construction projects has slowed down.

Nevertheless, projects previously awarded are continuing as scheduled, adding to the construction sector's need for skilled staff across "most roles", the report added, even if at a lower pace than last year. 

Heightened activity in the construction sector "started in 2013 with transportation expansions in major airports, and 2015 is likely to end with increased hospitality and real estate building activity", the report continued. 

Data by Hays Middle East shows that top talent prefer UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

"These regions offer better career prospects and higher salaries and as the modernisation of the cities continue, they are becoming a more attractive place to live in", Hays data states.  

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Construction Week - Issue 733
Mar 14, 2019