Evolving Recruitment Industry
of Middle East

Be it 2014-2015 Oil and Gas crisis or implementation of VAT in 2018, the Middle East economy has witnessed some
major changes in recent years. The infographic provides insights on such economic changes and the impact it
created on recruitment industry.


The massive fall in oil prices
created an adverse effect on the Middle East job market

The impact continued through 2016 as well
This year the crisis had the direct impact on the number of expatriates migrating to Gulf countries
like Saudi Arabia for Oil and Gas sector jobs.

Saudi Arabia which is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world witnessed a visible
drop in the number of expatriates migrating from different countries for job opportunities.

Rise After the Fall

2017 was the year that witnessed an increase in oil price with price
$52.51/ barrel. The economy continued to witness this hike in 2018.

Taking advantage of this booming oil and gas market, many behemoth oil and gas companies of Middle East decided to invest more in the business and thus, creating a demand for more global workers.

Saudi Arabia

The world’s biggest oil company Saudi Aramco joined hands with Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) the region’s largest listed firm and the fourth-largest chemicals company in the world to build a $20bn oil to chemicals plant on the eastern coast of the kingdom, opening a pipeline for global workforce to migrate for more job opportunities, in 2018. More than 350,000 new jobs are likely to be created in the Kingdom, said an official report issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat).

Taking advantage of this booming oil and gas market, many behemoth oil and gas companies of Middle East decided to invest more in the business and thus, creating a demand for more global workers.

Job Opportunities for Expats
in the Oil & Gas sector in Saudi Arabia


Project Management

Research and Development

Engineering Exploration

Loss Prevention

Finance

Drilling

Corporate Planning

Bahrain

Bahrain, the region’s smallest oil and gas player, has also finally awarded contracts for the planned $4.2bn expansion of its sole refinery at Sitra, which will raise its refining capacity up to 360,000 barrels a day (bpd) with plans also being considered for an aromatics facility to be built with Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company.

Job Opportunities for Expats
in the Oil & Gas sector in Bahrain


Process Control Engineer

Field Civil Engineer

Shutdown Project Engineer

Instrumentation Engineer

Increasing Demand for Locals

Manufacturing sector
of Dubai’s non-oil trade
Second largest contributor
to the UAE’s economy

However, there is a shift witnessed in the construction and manufacturing recruitment industry of the Middle East. The shift is from demand for expatriates to demand for local candidates in these sectors.

Taking advantage of this booming oil and gas market, many behemoth oil and gas companies of Middle East decided to invest more in the business and thus, creating a demand for more global workers.

Oman

Present Local Candidates Recruitment Scenario

Steps taken to shift focus to Locals ONLY
  1. Oman’s governmental drive to employ local citizens in construction, manufacturing and transportation industry has reached 97 percent of its target
  2. Govt. extended 6 months ban on hiring expatriates for construction and manufacturing industries. Moreover, the country has placed a visa ban for expatriates for other several sectors as well.

Hence, the scope of expatriates to get a job and establish well for years is very less

Kuwait

The total number of employees in the public sector is 390,000 in which 73.7 percent are Kuwaitis and the remaining 26.3 percent are expatriates.

Steps taken to shift focus to Locals ONLY
  1. Oman’s governmental drive to employ local citizens in construction, manufacturing and transportation industry has reached 97 percent of its target
  2. Govt. extended 6 months ban on hiring expatriates for construction and manufacturing industries. Moreover, the country has placed a visa ban for expatriates for other several sectors as well.

IT Sector Influencing Other Sectors

The UAE technology market has grown from an estimated USD 4.3 billion in 2013 to a projected value of US$ 17.2 billion last year, indicating significant growth . Technology has always been a driving force for various sectors in the Middle East. Its influence has been starkly visible and portrays how technologically progressive Middle East is, creating an abundance of opportunities for techno-savvy expatriates from across the globe in other sectors as well.

5 Technologies that are
Changing the Construction Industry


Drones

3D Printing

Building
Information Models

Smart Devices

Virtual Reality

2018 has witnessed an increasing demand for
global workforce for the IT sector in the Middle East

Top 5 Cities with
Higher IT Workforce Demand

This demand has been triggered due to the introduction and implementation of VAT in the Middle East. The introduction shook the economy of the Middle East and created a surge in the recruitment industry for more qualified and experienced VAT professionals. Consequently, the tunnel for global IT workers with required experience in VAT opened and a new trend of increasing demand for IT professionals experienced in VAT services got established.

Demand in Job Roles due to
VAT Implementation


Project/programme managers

Application developers

Business systems analysts

Recruitment Forecast

The Expo 2020 Dubai and introduction of VAT are expected to open ways for new hiring trends and new job demands for professionals across the globe. The expatriates in top Middle East countries will be witnessing an assortment of average monthly salary (USD) for the same job roles 2018 way forward.

The demand for local talent is increasing in places like Kuwait and Oman. Apart from banning, expats to apply for certain departments, there hasn’t been any other concrete announcement made on what all sectors will be covered by locals only. However, there is a great possibility of other countries of the Middle East to as well shift their focus to local talent over expatriates.

Key Takeaways

  • There are chances of many other countries of Middle East to shift their focus from expats to locals for their operations.
  • Candidates across the globe might have the opportunity to work in Middle East only on contractual basis and temporary visas.
  • The IT sector is burgeoning and might have increasing opportunities for expatriates to progress in major IT hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, etc.
  • Looking at the fluctuations in the Oil and Gas sector and tightening of the migration laws, expats in these sectors might need to explore other recruitment sectors or geographies.