UAE Jobs: 85% companies planning to recruit permanent employees in 2023

49% of employers will ramp up their hiring of UAE citizens this year

by Staff Reporter
UAE Jobs 2023; Survey reveals why employees want to leave their current companies

A new survey conducted by Hays Middle East has revealed that 85% companies in the UAE and other GCC countries are planning to recruit permanent employees in 2023.

Hays Middle East, part of Hays plc, the global leader in workforce solutions and specialist recruitment, has released its latest Salary Guide 2023 for the GCC.

In the UAE, almost one in two (49%) of employers will ramp up their hiring of UAE citizens this year as they work to meet Emiratisation quotas and diversify their workforce.

The guide provides comprehensive salary data for over 400 roles across 13 industries across the region, with the latest workforce trends based on expert insights and the analysis of a survey of over 2,000 employers and professionals.

Stable Job Market

The guide reveals that despite global disruptions, the GCC has remained stable, with continuous investment and diversification leading to a buoyant labour market in 2023, creating new jobs across multiple sectors and geographies in the region.

This is exemplified by 85% of employers planning to recruit permanent employees. However, with 45% professionals looking to change organisations, greater competition for the best talent is to be expected.

The Hays GCC Salary Guide 2023

Commenting on the report, Sarah Dixon, Managing Director of Hays Middle East, said: “2023 promises to be a prosperous year for the labour market and the GCC in general, with new jobs being created across multiple sectors and geographies in the region through investment initiatives from a multitude of sources. The Hays GCC Salary Guide 2023 provides valuable insights for both employers and professionals, helping them navigate the recruiting landscape of today and stay competitive for tomorrow.”

Flexible Working Options

Offering flexible working options is a viable way for employers to counter the fierce competition. The guide shows that while only 49% of organisations in the GCC currently offer remote or hybrid working options, 20% of employers anticipate that employees will be required in the workplace more.

Professionals place work-life balance and flexible working as a top priority when looking for a new job.

Employers and employees in the GCC have different perceptions of talent availability within their organisations.

The guide indicates that while 82% of employees firmly believe they have the necessary skills to fulfill their role in 2023, only 35% of employers strongly agree they have the talent needed for the coming year. Employers and employees must work together to address this disconnect to ensure success in the future.

Technology sector

The guide highlights that technology remains the most active industry sector for hiring, with 77% of organisations increasing their headcount last year, thanks to consistent local and foreign direct investment in focus areas such as data, cyber security, and cloud solutions.

Despite uncertainty in the global technology sector, growth in the GCC continues at pace. Indeed, 88% of employers plan to recruit permanent employees in 2023.

In Saudi Arabia, the industrial sector is expanding at an exponential rate. With the Kingdom poised to take further advantage of its abundant natural resources and central geographical location, industrial diversification into new products and materials will lead to a focus on talent with experience, technical skills, and operational knowledge.

Key Findings

  • 74% of employers expect salaries within their organisation to increase this year, most commonly by 5% or less.
  • Of the 45% of employees who plan to change roles this year, lack of career development opportunities is the number one reason why.
  • Aside from salary, benefits package is the number one factor attracting employees to a new role.
  • The top three most valued benefits include flexible working, child education allowance, and air ticket allowance.
  • 65% of employers feel optimistic about the wider economic climate and employment opportunities for the coming years, down from a record 78% last year.


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