UAE is a land of opportunity
The UAE remains an attractive destination for professionals from around the globe and has been ranked the 5th most attractive country in the world, thanks to handsome tax-free packages, safety and security, top quality lifestyle, opportunities to work with Fortune 500 companies and incredibly good opportunities for career growth.
According to the IMD World Competitiveness Centre's report, the UAE has higher appeal than some developed countries like Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, Singapore, Japan, Spain, Italy and South Korea when it comes to tapping the overseas talent pool.
More importantly, the UAE boasts an even higher ranking when it comes to availability of skills and competencies. The emirate has been ranked 4th after jumping 3 positions, surpassing countries like Canada, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Hong Kong, the UK, US and France.
Globally, the UAE is rated 26th - dropping one place - among 63 countries in terms of developing, attracting and retaining talent.
In order to further improve ranking, José Caballero, senior economist, IMD Competitiveness Centre, advised that the UAE should ensure that morale among the workforce remains high by reinforcing worker training programmes as well as apprenticeship schemes. Evaluating concerns about personal security and property rights and ensuring an increase in the quality of education (pupil-teacher ratios) may also be important.
Ambareen Musa, CEO and founder of Souqalmal.com, said the UAE, especially Dubai, has been put on the global map and a lot of people come for opportunities that this country offers. It gives new comers opportunities to grow in their careers as there are new companies keep sprouting - thanks to a brilliant startup community here.
"Attractive and tax-free packages offered by companies here in the UAE, safety and security for the families, top quality lifestyle and incredibly good opportunities for career growth attract talent from around the world are the major attraction for regional and global professionals to relocate to UAE," she said.
This country's strategic location to reach Asia, Africa and Europe in a span of 6 hours also makes it an attractive destination for travellers and globe-trotters, she added.
Commenting on the challenges of recruiting talent for startups, she noted that hiring is costly affair for them though it is being looked at the government level on how to help startups.
Pankaj Mundra, co-founder of Nimai Capital, said the UAE has a diverse talent pool across sectors for a long time. The main reason is that it has been the host of major multinational companies including Fortune 500 companies' regional and branch offices.
He said two sectors startups and fintech are mainly facing the talent and skills shortages.
José Caballero, senior economist, IMD Competitiveness Centre, said the UAE dropped one position this year mainly because of the worsening of indicators related to investment in education. Although most of these indicators decline slightly, their accumulated impact is stronger.
In the pupil-teacher ratio and primary education sub-indices, the ranking dropped from 49th to 55th; apprenticeships from 7th to 9th; employee training from 11th to 13th; and health infrastructure from 14th to 15th.
In Appeal, José Caballero said, it is important to note that there has been a negative turn in executive opinions in regards to worker motivation, and the level of personal security and protection of private property rights. In Readiness, the prioritisation of the teaching of sciences in schools drops as well as the effectiveness of management education.