LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, plans to boost its Middle East connections by opening an office in Dubai, just months after Facebook’s high-profile entry to the market.
The business-networking site is recruiting staff for its new base, which is expected to be in Dubai Internet City.
Six positions are being advertised for the Dubai office, including an office manager and receptionist.
An executive at Dubai Internet City told The National that Linked-In had been in talks to open an office in the free zone, but added nothing had been confirmed. “They have shown an interest. There has been a discussion.”
Sources close to LinkedIn, meanwhile, confirmed Dubai Internet City had been chosen as the location and said that the office would officially open either next month or October.
LinkedIn is expected to sell corporate recruiting services from the Dubai office and is seeking specialists in this area to work there.
More than half of LinkedIn’s revenues come from its hiring-solutions division, in which revenues rose to US$121.6 million (Dh446.6m) in the second quarter of this year, a 107 per cent increase on the same period last year.
LinkedIn, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, reported an 89 per cent rise in total revenues to $228.2m for the second quarter, beating analysts’ expectations.
The firm’s share price has increased since its initial public offering, bucking the trend among other internet businesses such as Facebook.
It is understood that LinkedIn’s new office will not handle general advertising sales. The Dubai-based agency Clique Mediahandles LinkedIn’s advertising sales across the Middle East and North Africa.
Lorcan Carpenter, the recruitment manager working for LinkedIn who posted advertisements for the Dubai-based jobs, did not respond to a request for comment about the company’s new office.
LinkedIn will be the second big social network to set up shop in Dubai this year, after Facebook opened a regional office in May in Dubai Internet City, where it employs three staff.
Jonathan Labin, the head of Facebook’s operations in Dubai, said this month that the social network planned to boost its local staff base.
PK Gulati, a prominent technology investor based in Dubai, said the city’s infrastructure made it an appealing destination. “Dubai has been successful in claiming its position as a hub, and the place to be,” he said. “It’s very good that we have these brands, there’s no question about that. It’s good to see more names coming in.”
Mr Gulati added that LinkedIn’s planned office in Dubai suggested that it viewed the Middle East as a growth market.
“It’s a very commercial decision in my opinion, in a sense that they believe that it’s a revenue market for them.”