TAG | UAE
To coincide with the launch of Morgan McKinley’s 2013 UAE Salary Guide, Managing Director, Trefor Murphy, was interviewed live on Dubai Eye radio on Monday 13th May, discussing remuneration across the region.
Trefor highlights in the interview the difference between salary change forecasts over the remainder of 2013 compared to 2012 across the region. In addition he also identifies sectors where there is likely to be an above average increase in remuneration and offers further insight into the hiring market.
The power generation, transmission & distribution sector in the Middle East and North Africa is currently receiving significant investment from the public and private sectors. The International Monetary Fund estimates that population growth in some GCC countries will increase by over 20% by 2020. Population growth, industrial expansion and high demand for energy hungry air conditioning systems are the major reasons for the required investment in the sector. One study shows that power capacity will increase by 7-8% annually for the next five years across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with over $100bn of investment required to achieve this.
Historically the majority of the power capacity has come from natural gas and crude oil fired plants. Investment in new Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plants is still a major portion of the investment. ABB, General Electric and Siemens have all announced the award of significant orders related to power plants and substations, with General Electric announcing a $1bn investment in Saudi Arabia to strengthen their presence in the region.
With rising crude prices on the global energy markets countries are looking to diversify their energy mix. The UAE is leading the development of nuclear power in the region, with plans to build four reactors at a cost of $20bn. Saudi Arabia appears to have serious nuclear energy ambitions as well. If the UAE’s program is a success other GCC countries are likely to follow their path.
The region appears naturally suited to solar power, it has numerous Wind and Waste to Energy (WtE) projects being developed to increase its renewable capability.
The international nature of its energy mix is an interesting point; utility companies still run at a national level, with most governments heavily subsiding the cost of electricity. The developers and owners are a mixture of local and international organisations.
Anyone with an interest in the region’s power sector will be keen to see how the energy mix develops. The perceived safety and security risks of nuclear power mean the success, or failure, of the UAE’s program will be instrumental to the future of the GCC nuclear industry. The solar industry faces different challenges, namely overcoming the relatively high level of investment needed in comparison to fossil fuels, and inefficiency concerns caused by dust and sand reducing output. Fossil fuel burning plants are likely to still play a key role and provide the base load. The mix between conventional fossil fuels, renewable and nuclear is something we can expect to evolve over time.
Significant investment in the local power sector, has a historical reliance on expatriate skills. Premium tax free packages and high living standards make the GCC an attractive proposition for power generation professionals.
Please feel free to contact Jon Lauriston at email@example.com for further information on the market or specifically what opportunities are available.
Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor gives us some interesting insight into the hiring market in London each month to compare with the picture across the UAE. The latest data from June 12 highlights a large 33% drop in the number of available jobs across the sector. This is also a fall on the same time last year. So, here’s an overview of the current hiring market for financial services in the UAE:
Cautious hiring market
- As with many financial services centres around the world, Dubai’s financial institutions remain relatively cautious in their approach to hiring, perhaps as a result of the previous crisis.
- Employers will find the hiring market full of job seekers, however for those looking for a new career move, there are fewer available roles – similar to the London market.
- The Euro crisis has also impacted the UAE – with European banks looking at cost cutting measures.
So is there any opportunity?
- Although banks are right-sizing and down-sizing, there is some growth to be seen in areas of these organisations that are making money.
- Some banks are making significant profit in areas of sales trading and fixed income trading and there is continued demand in this space. This in turn has led to increased demand within risk management. This mirrors the requirement for talent in the London market as well, and is also the case for compliance where a healthy amount of hiring is a result of banks’ need to adhere to regulation.
- Hiring is strategic, as budgets are tight, so employers are looking for key hires with exactly the right skills.
- Hiring managers are also looking for ambitious job seekers, who are prepared to be more flexible on where their next role is located.
- Dubai has long been an attractive location for expats, however the opportunities right now in the financial services sector are in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. In particular Qatar is growing at a steady pace.
Best approach to finding a new role
- Competition is going to come from professionals who are prepared to move around the UAE – job seekers are increasingly prepared to commute two or more hours to work each day or even to relocate away from Dubai within the Middle East for a good career move.
- Dubai continues to be attractive to overseas job seekers because of the perceived lifestyle advantageous. Visiting Dubai and networking is highly recommended to improve the chances of a successful job search.
- Opportunities exist for the right talent; look at the skills that you offer and do some research or contact Morgan McKinley UAE to find out if your skill set matches areas of the market that are still growing and hiring.
- Consider how flexible you are prepared to be, both in your location and in your salary expectations.
To get ahead in financial services whether in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE – it’s important to focus on what employers really need right now. Morgan McKinley UAE can help you with advice on the skills in demand, areas of the market that are growing, remuneration across the entire region.
Contact Anthony Graves on +971 (0) 4 324 4094
Offshoring operations overseas combined with an increasingly competitive jobs market, has left many professionals considering opportunities abroad. So what value is gained from international experience?
Stand out from the crowd. CVs with international work experience stand out. Employers appreciate the independence, personal resourcefulness and problem-solving skills necessary to work abroad. Particularly if you have sought the opportunity yourself.
Understand new business cultures. Working in a country that has a strong connection with your industry can add an incredible amount of value to your CV. Working abroad can also give you an understanding of other cultures, values and different ways of doing business. Surrounding yourself in a foreign work setting is very different from dealing with colleagues from other countries on the telephone. Even a relatively short period of time spent abroad can be very valuable to your career. In the case of the Middle East you might be expected to operate in an Arabic speaking environment and also a more profoundly Islamic business community.
Acquire new skills. Learning a new skill or developing an existing skill is often easier in a new environment. Picking up a new language or learning new processes can be an invaluable benefit of working overseas and are often skills that can be used back in the UK.
Gain new contacts. An assignment abroad can quickly help build your professional network. Nurture relationships with colleagues, you never know where a contact may lead and who they might be able to refer you to for future jobs. The blue chip multinational job market in particular has become increasingly globalised and a diverse network can provide short cuts to career development.
Earn money. UAE is tax-free. This means that in the top earning bracket you can take home up to 50% more than you would at home. If you are coming to the stage of your life when saving is more important than spending, the Middle East could be an even more attractive proposition.
Lifestyle change. Working abroad can often offer a different lifestyle, and sometimes a greater work-life balance. In addition, it can give you the chance to explore new interests. It may even take you on to another contract or permanent role there or in another country. In the UAE, the average annual rainfall is 4.7 inches, on par with just one wet afternoon in Manchester, so if you are a SAD sufferer it could be your gateway to a sunnier disposition and an outdoor lifestyle.
Choosing to uproot and work abroad can be a big decision, plenty of research is essential before taking the leap. If the timing is right it can really develop your career opportunities.
This weekend was one of the best celebrations I have seen in my 8 years in the Emirates.
We have enjoyed several bigger and more flamboyant events-
think the Atlantis Hotel opening and Kylie Minogue’s performance
or…the opening of the Burj Khalifa, and unforgettable fireworks
or…the launch of Meydan- the custom-built city and homage to horse racing
or…the first grand prix coming to the Emirates for the first time
or…the opening of a brand new metro system for Dubai
the list could go on and on.
None of these, however, got close to the sense of heartfelt national pride and unity witnessed on the streets of Dubai (and I am sure Abu Dhabi and the six other emirates) in the days leading up to the anniversary of the inauguration of the UAE last Friday December 2nd.
I am actually talking less about the flashes of colour, images of leaders, processions, fireworks, flags, and copious food and drink and more about the small things: Emirati schoolchildren delivering food and celebratory scarves to labourers in their traditional garb and receiving such warmth and gratitude in return; employees of all nationalities of Citibank in Oud Metha sitting together and eating traditional food as one; residents of Beach Road coming out at night simply to soak up the lights and atmosphere of honking cars daubed in paint and setting off firecrackers; and finally the UAE national women leading the clean up operation on Saturday morning with brooms and buckets!
I am sure that these sights belong as much to Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of the UAE as the razzamatazz of tallest buildings and most luxurious hotels.
Welcome to the third blog of the continuing labour reform debate. I am writing this in a time of struggling global financial markets and disruption on the streets of London so would like to spread some positive news closer to home amidst the carnage!
We have come a long way since the turn of the year towards a genuinely open labour market where freedom of movement is achievable across nearly all levels of employment.
On Monday Gulf News attributed the following statement to Ali AlShehi, Senior Administrator at the Ministry of Labour:
“We are still imposing the six-month labour ban on employees who quit their jobs before completing two years of service, but the ban can be lifted if the new employer offers the candidate a good position and an appropriate salary.”
An appropriate salary is deemed to be a minimum of Dh5,000 per month for high school graduates, Dh7,000 for diploma holders and Dh12,000 for bachelors degree holders. What constitutes a “good position” is less clear but these directives often contain an element of subjectivity to allow for some equivocation in the event that the reform does not turn out as planned.
There is no mention of when exactly the changes will come into effect, but the statement would appear to lift many of the restrictions currently in place, notably that an employee has to complete a minimum of one year of their two year contract, and also that termination of the role needs to be consensual or at the very least that the parting of ways was deemed amicable.
It is of course worth sparing a thought for the sub Dh5,000 band of employees, thought to amount to nearly 70% of the UAE’s labour population, who will not be affected by the new directive. It remains though, an extremely brave positive move from the MoL in the context of an employment market that remains fragile at best. One of the things that has always driven positive market sentiment in the UAE is vibrant hiring activity. Let’s hope this becomes a call to action for companies to move ahead with their planned headcount growth in the second half of the year.