UAE Jobs 2023: Survey reveals why employees want to leave their current companies

The survey offers valuable insights into the current state and future expectations of career development in the UAE

by Staff Reporter
UAE Jobs 2023; Survey reveals why employees want to leave their current companies, the Middle East’s leading job site, in partnership with YouGov, a market research agency, released the latest findings of its Career Development in the MENA 2023 survey.

The survey offers valuable insights into the current state and future expectations of career development in the UAE, revealing that 89% of current employees view career development as a vital component of their professional lives.

UAE Job Market Survey

Management development skills were deemed the most vital training area for respondents (18%), along with technical/job-related skills (17%) and leadership/coaching skills (13%). Team management skills (37%) and technical/job-related skills (37%) emerged as the areas where most of the respondents had received company training in the past three years, indicating a renewed emphasis on these skills in the current job market.

“Career development is integral to the success of any organisation and is delighted to share these insightful survey results across the MENA region,” said Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at

“These findings highlight the increased engagement of employees looking toward formal training initiatives and development plans to hone their skills in an increasingly dynamic and competitive landscape. Across MENA, career development is experiencing a thrilling era, with employees showing unprecedented levels of investment in their growth and progress.”

Learning and Growth Opportunities

An encouraging trend emerges from the findings, with over 9 in 10 UAE respondents actively seeking learning opportunities within and outside their company. The survey revealed that 81% of UAE employees would leave their current companies for better training opportunities. This highlights the motivation and dedication of individuals in pursuing their professional development.

The current employees state that certified study programs (43%), company training by internal teams (43%) and training by external professional trainers (42%) are the most preferred training methods.

Career Development and Company Dedication

The survey highlights the importance of empowering employees to take initiative in their career development. Over 6 in 10 respondents (62%) feel encouraged to determine their own career path, indicating a desire for self-directed growth.

A great majority (93%) of respondents are keen to have a formal career development plan in place. Overall, 52% of the respondents have formally set development plans with their manager.

UAE companies should foster a culture that empowers employees to take ownership of their professional development to drive engagement and satisfaction.

Ola Haddad

Ola Haddad

52% of employees believe that their organization is dedicated to their professional development. This aligns with the importance placed on career development in the UAE and reflects positively on companies that prioritize growth opportunities for their workforce.

With 86% of respondents believing that their skillset is competitive and up-to-date, organizations must continue to invest in and foster an environment that supports continuous learning and career advancement.

Employee Satisfaction

Mentoring plays a significant role in professional growth, and 56% of current employees in the UAE report being satisfied with the mentoring received from senior peers. In addition, 51% state that their supervisor has taken an interest in their career development. These figures reflect the positive impact of mentorship and supportive leadership in nurturing employee development and creating a conducive environment for continuous improvement.

Within the career development path, 63% of respondents believe that there are opportunities to cross-train and learn new skills, whereas 65% believe that the training and development opportunities are explicitly linked to the strategic direction of the company.

Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov said: “It is evident from the survey findings that employees in the MENA region are eager to develop their careers, and are keen to work for companies that offer professional development opportunities. As companies seek out highly trained and motivated employees, they would do well to offer comprehensive skill-building programs aimed at meeting their employees’ needs.”

Data for the Career Development in the MENA 2023 survey was collected online from May 31 to June 26, 2023. Results are based on a sample of 2,088 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia among others.

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