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MEA Roundup July/August 2023

Remote Work Still Popular in UAE

The UAE region has a significant number of remote job openings and to get hired, candidates must have the right skills.

At a time when much of the world is pushing for workers to return to the office, thousands of vacancies are listed in the UAE and the Gulf on various job portals spanning several sectors.

A LinkedIn report found that 4.3% of UAE job postings were for remote positions as of February 2023. Though that number is a significant decline from January (down 22.8%), some of the jobs that are available for those looking to work from home include call centre representative, marketing specialist, sales executive, business development manager, finance officer, and more.

The report also found that not only are 77% of UAE professionals considering switching jobs this year, but a lack of remote work was cited as a top 10 reason for the desired change.

Some of the sectors in the region with the highest share of remote job postings as of February 2023 were technology, information and media, professional services, wholesale, consumer services, and oil, gas and mining.

The most common skills in demand for these job postings include the following.

  • Strong communication
  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility
  • Multitasking
  • Good organisational techniques

Najat Abdelhadi, head of communications, growth markets EMEA at LinkedIn, said the report revealed that skills examination is really under the microscope. “Recruiters are on the lookout for candidates with the right skills to match their rapidly evolving strategies,” she said. “It’s no longer enough to have a university degree or a few years of experience under your belt. To stand out from the crowd, you need to have the right skills that help drive greater productivity and growth for the business.”

The Fastest Growing AI-Focused Jobs in the UAE

The UAE job market is rapidly evolving, just as AI is on track to deliver a value of $150 billion in the Middle East. Because of this, most job openings today require fluency in AI, automation, and machine learning.

According to a pwc survey, it is predicted that the Middle East will account for 2% of the global total benefits of AI by 2030, or $320 billion—and this was all by design. Back in 2017, the UAE was the first country in the world to appoint a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, placing the country at the forefront of innovation. With six of 10 jobs now digitally focused and requiring advanced skills, LinkedIn data reveals the UAE’s top five fastest-growing jobs and the tools and skills needed.

  • Content coordination: Adobe Premier Pro, digital marketing, web content writing
  • Back-end developer: Back-end development, Amazon web services (AWS), Python (Programming Language)
  • Data scientist: Python (programming language), predictive modeling, R (programming language), data science
  • Business development associate: Customer relationship management (CRM), communication, marketing strategy, team management.
  • e-Commerce coordinator: e-commerce, digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO).

Executives Anticipate AI’s Big Impact

CapGemini Research’s latest Harnessing the Value of Generative AI: Top Use Cases Across Industries report revealed that a staggering 96% of executives hail generative AI as a key topic in the boardroom, with the majority saying that their leadership team as strong advocates for it. Further, 70% believe that generative AI will broaden the role of knowledge workers.

Seventy-four per cent of executives believe that generative AI’s benefits outweigh concerns like copyright infringement and cybersecurity, and in fact, see generative AI as an opportunity to drive revenues. Whilst 21% anticipate a disruption in their industries, 40% of organisations in varying sectors industries have already established teams and budget for generative AI, with another 49% considering the same in the next year.

And it’s no surprise that 84% of executives in the tech industry think that the overall impact of generative AI will be positive, confirming that their organisations have generative AI pilots underway, and 18% having already implemented it across business functions.

Adding to that, 78% of executives believe that generative AI will make product and service design more efficient, and 76% think it will make product and service design more accessible. Seventy-one per cent also say it will make customer experiences more interactive and engaging and will improve customer service by providing automated and personalized support (67%).

For many organisations, the most relevant generative AI-based platforms or tools for their industries include:

  • chatbots for automating customer service and improving knowledge management;
  • designing, collecting, or summarizing data;
  • 3D modelling for detailed shapes; and
  • predictive maintenance.

Global Leaders Optimistic About Economy and Talent

The mid-way point of 2023 has passed, and NGS Global’s Mid-Year Survey: Leaders Mostly Optimistic About Economy and Business sought to find the expectations of global business leaders from medium and large organisations of varying sectors. How are leaders feeling, and what are their biggest priorities and challenges?

Fifty-one per cent of executives are optimistic about the direction that the global economy is heading in, with 26% saying they are very optimistic. But a large percentage (30%) are uncertain of what’s to come, and 8% are extremely pessimistic about the economy.

Respondents had a much more positive overall outlook when it came to their company’s performance, by reason of weakened inflationary pressures, a continually strong and resilient labor marketing, and a rise in consumer spending. Because of this, 52% said they were optimistic, compared to just 7% who said that they expect their company’s performance will be significantly weaker this year compared to last.

For the remainder of the year and through to next year, leaders are focusing most of their efforts on attracting and retaining both customers and talent. Of the two, leaders said that acquiring and retaining customers was most critical, followed by talent. Some leaders are still finding it challenging to source the talent they need in today’s market, making it the number one task on the list.

Whilst 31% said the level of difficulty in hiring leaders and executives at their organisations now compared to a year ago was about the same, 22% said it was slightly worse. On the flipside, the least important priority for respondents was digital transformation and technology adoption, just above regulatory compliance and risk management.

Leaders also cited an additional, lower-level priority, banking and vendor management, in reference to The U.S. banking crisis that happened earlier this year, which led many organisations to reconsider their vendors, structures, and banking and payroll processes.

Tags: EMEA July August 2023

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