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950,000 Jobs in Dubai to be Created by 2020; UAE and Qatar Remain Prime Destinations for Expat Workers

Middle East : 02 October 2011

Dubai Urban Development to Create Almost 1 Million Jobs

The Dubai Urban Development Master Plan 2020 has received approval from the DEC (or Dubai Executive Council). A supreme council will be established, with a mandate to streamline the process across the emirate, according to Dubai officials.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General, stated that economically feasible and sustainable projects and programs are included in the development plan. This ten-year plan has considered all related aspects, including commercial, industrial and residential infrastructure, as well as housing requirements, recreational facilities and environmental concerns.

Planning and Engineering Director General Essa Al Maidour stated that the plan is being driven by economic growth and will create jobs across several sectors. Expectations are that around 950,000 jobs will be open up by 2020, with focus on tourism, as well as on trade, industry, re-exports and real estate.

Lootah noted that development in Dubai is about more than just real estate. This is not a building plan, but a development plan that covers a variety of sectors.

Major development and growth should occur in Jebel Ali as the port and the Al Maktoum International Airport fuel the economy and enhance trade.

Population growth estimates in the plan expect growth of one million residents by 2020. There are three population scenarios built into the plan, a total of 2.3 million is the lowest of those expected scenarios. The highest population scenario sits at 3.4 million residents, while the mid-range amount of 2.9 million is expected to be the most realistic.

Population calculations used a statistical survey and built on the 2010 population of 1.9 million.

Before 2008 Dubai was anticipating a population of 9.0 million by 2020. Considering the 2010 numbers, Dubai revised the population expectations in terms of planning for future developments and land allocation.

Al Maidour noted that the 2.9 million population expectation is likely to be reached, although plans for the highest level are in place.

The plan will be implemented through legislation and the emirate has already seen initiatives put in place that are positive for business.

This new development plan looks to balance urban developments with natural conservation, heritage concerns and the responsible management of natural resources.

Report Claims New Hot Spot for Jobs is the UAE

Going Global president and founder Mary Anne Thompson released her firm’s Employment Outlook report focusing on the UAE, presenting the Emirates as a global hot spot for jobs.

Data collected for the report stated that even in the midst of civil unrest in the region, the UAE is attracting job seekers with tax free salaries. Along with low import duties and no income taxes, the UAE is attracting both multinational firms and expats looking for work. As the global economy recovers and stability is seen again, business confidence levels are improving at a slow pace, driving activity in the economy as well as creating employment.

Professionals working in the Middle East have earned salaries competitive with Western rates, with the added benefit of being tax-free. Employment agencies expect that wages within the UAE will increase by an additional 6.3 percent in 2011.

Jobs are abundant not only in the oil and gas sector. Many other industries are creating new opportunities due to a rapidly expanding non-oil economic sector. Tourism and hospitality are growing, as well as media and e-commerce, aircraft production, safety and security equipment and IT services. The medical industry is experiencing expansion, as are building materials and construction. Power and water projects are creating job opportunities with the demand for electricity and water continuing to rise.

Global recruitment firms report that almost 60 percent of UAE businesses are expecting to hire at the professional and managerial levels. Approximately 68 percent of businesses are also looking for middle to senior level staffing.

Many are looking for staff with postgraduate studies in business management, as well as in engineering. Those with a commerce degree are also in demand. Having the ability to speak Arabic and English is highly valued, although English is the common business language. Recruiters state that professional achievements and experience carry the most weight for applicants.

Qatar Experiencing Record Growth

The Qatari economy will see 18.7 percent growth in 2011 due to high levels of LNG exports and rising oil prices. According to the IMF, the rapid economic expansion seen in the last few years will continue for 2011, although growth will slow down in 2012 as mega gas projects are completed.

Real GDP in Qatar has grown at one the fastest rates in the world in the last ten years, soaring by almost 16.6 percent last year. The IMF noted that Qatar’s real GDP will expand by 18.7 percent this year.

The most recent MENA report released by the IMF stated that 2012 will see growth in the Qatari economy slow down to almost 6 percent, although there was no stated reason for the drop.

Analysts note the stable gas supply, which reached 77 million tonnes at the close of last year upon the completion of Qatari mega projects, is part of the reason.

That leap in the nation’s gas industry gave boost to the economy and transformed Qatar in one of the wealthiest countries around the globe on a GDP per capita basis.

The GDP in 2007 rose by almost 26.8 percent and increased by 25.4 percent in 2008. In 2009 growth dropped to just 8.7 percent due to declining oil prices in the face of the global financial crisis.

Growth in 2009 is still considered to be high compared to other nations, which experienced zero or negative rates in that year.

Qatar’s economy saw the fastest rates of growth worldwide between 2006 and 2010. The CAGR (or compound annual growth rate) hit 15.7 percent, based on QNB Capital data. A division of the Qatar National Bank, QNB Capital stated that public investments made into natural gas and other economic sectors have given rise to diversification and exceptional growth in the nation.

Qatar remains the hot spot for jobs and attracts thousands of expats looking for opportunities abroad.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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