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Middle East Job Trends – 6 Sectors that are Trending Currently

The employment opportunities in the Middle East find takers from all over the world. As per a Go Gulf report, ex-pats now account for around 48.1% of the total population in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. Also, about 46% of the ex-pats here believe that their earnings in the Middle East are significantly higher than what they could have been earning back home.

Countries like India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, and China are some of the top talent exporters for the Middle East. As per a recent study, hiring in the GCC countries is expected to increase by 9% in 2019.

For Indians searching for a job opportunity in a foreign country, this rising demand makes the Middle East an excellent option. But while the hiring volumes can witness an upswing in several industrial sectors, some sectors are way ahead than others.

So, what industrial sectors and jobs are currently trending in the Middle East? Here is a list of top 6-

1. Healthcare Job Trends

At 30%, the healthcare sector in the Middle East is expected to witness the highest rise in the volume of hiring in 2019. With the recent legislation making it compulsory for employers to offer health insurance, the number of people utilizing healthcare and related services is at an all-time high.

Moreover, the Gulf countries are also aiming to become the hotspots for affordable healthcare on the global front. Due to this, the number of private hospitals and healthcare facilities too is consistently increasing.

These reasons have resulted in an acute shortage of quality healthcare professionals in the Middle East. What’s more is that Indian healthcare professionals are most in-demand all over the world, including the Middle East. For ex-pat doctors, nurses, and technicians, especially ones with decent work experience, this can be a great time to explore job opportunities here.

2. Information Technology

The Middle East has embraced Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution with open arms. Almost every industrial sector is now experimenting with modern automation technologies and digitalization. But while this automation trend is negatively affecting the low-skilled workforce, it has increased the demand for skilled IT professionals.

Even the startup trend is picking up in the region. As per Magnitt, a venture capital specialist, more than 100 startups received venture funding of more than USD 625 million in 2018. This too, is playing a crucial role in the rising demand for ex-pat IT professionals.

At close to 30%, the IT sector here is expected to witness the second-highest growth in hiring volumes. IT professionals such as Data Scientists, Computer Network Architects, Software Developers, and IT Managers are currently in very high demand here.

3. Finance and Accounting

With Expo 2020 just around the corner, national and foreign investment is expected to pick up in the Middle East. The consistently growing tourism industry and recovery of oil prices are two other positive signs for the Saudi economy. Moreover, the Saudi government has also predicted that the total spend in 2019 will rise by around 7.4%.

This has helped in increasing confidence among companies to hire more people. All of these factors can increase the demand for ex-pat professionals with finance and accounting backgrounds. The introduction of VAT in GCC countries has already increased the demand for ex-pat Tax Managers.

Other roles, such as Finance Managers, Management Accountants, Financial Analysts, and Business Controllers, can remain trending in the Middle East.

4. Legal

The contribution of the legal sector cannot be underestimated in the growth of any country. The bold and ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 can revolutionize sectors such as Healthcare, Education, Finance, and Tourism in the Middle East. The demand for legal assistance would be crucial in the process.

Even sectors like Energy and Construction are expected to hire more legal professionals even though the growth of these sectors themselves can remain under pressure. Many of the established law firms in the Middle East often provide temporary positions to newly hired professionals. They are given positions in cities like Dubai to provide them with first-hand experience of the law culture of the Middle East.

Permanent positions are then provided in other parts of the region after the initial temporary/internship positions. For Indian Chartered Accountants, Lawyers, Legal Secretaries, Compliance Specialists, Conflicts Analysts, and Contract Administrators, now is an excellent time to think about moving to the Middle East.

5. Energy and Power

As the global capital of oil production, the Middle East is one of the biggest recruiters in the energy and power sector. Saudi Aramco, one of the most valuable companies in the world, is now involved in several innovative projects such as SPARK (King Salman Energy Park) and many others in its bid to diversify its operations.

Even the renewable energy sector is witnessing considerable growth in GCC countries with projects like Shams Solar Park already underway. By 2050, the Middle East aims to create more than 40% of its electricity through renewable energy sources.

Due to this, Project Managers, Drilling Supervisors, Reservoir Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Production Engineers, and Renewable Energy Specialists are in high demand.  

6. Hospitality and Tourism

As per a Statista report, the inbound visitors in the Middle East are expected to grow by 4.3% in 2019. This is coming after a 3.2% rise witnessed in 2018. The dynamic blend of icons from the bygone era, to modern construction marvels like the Burj Khalifa and Palm Islands, make the Middle East a highly diverse place to visit.

The consistent growth in this sector has increased the demand for ex-pat professionals from the tourism background. Even the hospitality industry is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 7.2%, resulting in more job opportunities in the coming years.

From Hotel Managers, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Event Organizers, to Executive Chefs, there are several great opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector of the Middle East.

Finding High-Paying Job Opportunities in the Middle East 

While there are several job opportunities available in the Middle East, finding them and landing the job is often a complex process for most professionals. Rather than trying to do this on your own, it is better to rely on reputable manning agencies.

Top employers and businesses in the Middle East prefer partnering with such recruiting agencies to source the right talent from across the world. Your association with such agencies could help you build a rewarding career at one of the best companies in the Middle East.

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