United Arab Emirates

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Overall Score

4.8 in 2015 4.8
0 2.5 5 7.5 10

Key Finding

According to the ILO, over 90 per cent of the UAE’s labour force is made up of expatriates. These tend to provide virtually all of the labour in the private sector. UAE nationals tend to prefer to be employed in the country’s large public sector. The low labour market flexibility score (and in particular the ability to attract international migrants) is therefore key in determining conditions in skilled labour markets.

Due to the lack of availability of UAE structural and long-term unemployment and vacancies data, we did not calculate the country’s Talent Mismatch score and therefore the overall Index score was calculated using six indicators.
UAE has been included in the Index for the first time this year. The country’s 2015 score reflects data for that year, and has been included for comparison purposes.

BREAKDOWN OF SEVEN INDICATOR SCORES

Scores
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
Education
flexibility
8.2
Labour market
participation
5.6
Labour market
flexibility
1.7
Talent
mismatch
N/A
Overall wage
pressure
6.8
Wage pressure in
high-skill industries
1.5
Wage pressure in
high-skill occupations
5.0

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

View from the ground

The low energy prices seen throughout 2015 finally had an impact on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) job market
in Q1 2016 as Federal budget cuts started to bite. The worst affected sectors have been oil and gas, construction and
banking, all of which have seen considerable redundancies, but elsewhere despite a degree of caution hiring carries on;
manufacturing, retail, FMCG, IT, healthcare, airlines and hospitality/leisure are all sectors which have reasonably strong
job numbers. Despite all of this the region is still attractive to international job seekers and interest in moving here
remains high. For those organisations which are hiring there is no critical shortage of talent.

Chris Greaves, Managing Director, Hays UAE

Country Profile

Growth in non-oil GDP slowed in 2015 and is forecast to decline further in 2016. Lower oil prices are negatively impacting public investment.

They also continue to adversely impact business confidence. Over the medium term, the likely recovery in oil prices is expected to stimulate some growth in the non-hydrocarbon economy, through greater public spending and a recovery in economic sentiment.

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