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LOCAL TALENT IN DEMAND

Salaries to grow 6-8pc in Mena region

Dubai, January 16, 2014

Professional salaries are expected to grow by a healthy six to eight per cent in the Mena region this year, said a recent survey.

The latest Morgan McKinley UAE Salary Survey Guide forecast that the region will focus on the infrastructure, tourism and construction sectors with UAE’s Expo 2020 predicted to be a major factor in jobs growth.

The guide for the year provides a barometer of professional employment activity based on observations from the past year and figures on gross salaries, across a number of sectors, including banking and financial services, accounting and finance, energy, construction, office support, sales and marketing, and supply chain and procurement.

In the accounting and finance sector, there is a greater emphasis on attracting financial professionals with formal accounting qualifications, while Arabic speakers – who can operate in the GCC as well as the Mena region - are in great demand.

Despite significant growth indicators in the banking and financial services sector, many banks have been focusing on corporate governance, and as such there is continued demand, with larger banks in particular, for improved enterprise risk management and internal controls and reporting.

In the construction sector, a steady rise in salaries has been predicted as more projects come online across various sectors in the region. The industry continues to rely on expat talent, said the survey.

The year will see an increase in hiring, jobs and salaires in the energy sector, as growth in solar energy is expected to reach 3.5GW by 2015 in the region, with a target of 10GW capacity by 2017.

Trefor Murphy, UAE managing director, said: “The survey points to a number of key growth areas for 2014, in terms of both job opportunities and salary levels.  Rising levels of demand for consumer goods means that sales and marketing and supply chain professionals will be particularly sought after across the Gulf region.  

“We are also seeing a growth in opportunities for power generation professionals, triggered by the boom in activity across both the green and traditional energy sectors.  Meanwhile, inward and local investment in sectors such as FMCG, packaging and chemicals is creating demand for manufacturing professionals, especially those with knowledge of techniques such as Six Sigma, as well as accountants.”

“With many new projects announced recently, there is a particular requirement for specialists in the construction oil and gas industries, with Iraq especially short of oil industry experts.  

“Finally, with the three main credit rating agencies improving their ratings, the high level of business activity, and improvements in balance sheets and liquidity, the banking and financial services sector is experiencing buoyant employment levels.”

Despite this positive picture for the region’s professional job seekers, Morgan McKinley pointed out that changes in the cost of living and the resulting impact on disposable income are far harder to predict.  

“It’s safe to say that in many countries “the only way is up”, putting pressure on employers and presenting candidates with some tough choices.” - TradeArabia News Service




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