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The Dubai Marina is bustling at night as consumer confidence returns. Jaime Puebla / The National
The Dubai Marina is bustling at night as consumer confidence returns. Jaime Puebla / The National

Jobseekers returning to Dubai as economy strengthens

Bayt.com says recruitment numbers are up, and luxury car sales are further proof Dubai is on the mend.

DUBAI // The number of professionals who want to move to Dubai has risen sharply and employers are stepping up their hiring efforts, according to the online recruitment company, Bayt.com.

"We have certainly seen a healthy, robust and very encouraging pickup in hiring activity," said Suhail Masri, the company's vice-president of sales.

"Employers across the industry spectrum are looking to hire at all career levels," he said, "from entry-level to mid-management and senior executive, in varied roles, including in sectors that were harder hit during the recessionary years and have recently started cautiously reconsolidating and hiring for growth.

"The quality of professional talent UAE employers are sourcing today on Bayt.com is indicative that Dubai has in no way lost its broad mass appeal as a world-class destination to live and work.

"We are seeing employers across industry sectors taking advantage of this talent influx to beef up teams at all career levels."

Consumer confidence appears to be buoyant, too. The Department of Economic Development's index of overall consumer confidence in Dubai stood at 129 during the third quarter, seven points higher than the figure for the preceding three months.

Nearly 77 per cent of consumers felt positive about their current financial situation and 86 per cent had a brighter outlook for the next 12 months.

Bayt.com's November consumer-confidence survey revealed that 49 per cent of UAE professionals believed their personal financial situation would improve within a year, and 47 per cent had similar expectations for the economy. In addition, 37 per cent were optimistic about the availability of jobs.

The growing confidence was reflected in the number of people visiting Dubai's shopping malls and the rising demand for luxury cars.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the managing director of Emaar Properties, said: "Dubai Mall welcomed more than 44.5 million visitors from January to September 2012, an increase of approximately 15 per cent compared with the same period last year."

Sales of luxury cars are probably as good a barometer of consumer confidence as anything else.

"Dubai faced a couple of challenging years, in particular during the 12 months that followed the recession," said Dr Joerg Breuer, the managing director of BMW Group Middle East. "However, it quickly bounced back due to the high disposable income of households in the emirate and a strong economy.

"We have noticed that consumers tend to be more cautious in their purchasing decisions. They are taking more time to assess the different options in the market to make sure they make the right purchase decision.

"However, despite this mindset, they are still purchasing. Sales for luxury brands - not only within the automotive industry - continue to grow."

AGMC, the BMW importer for Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, recently invested Dh80million in four new or upgraded facilities in Dubai and Sharjah for the group's brands.

Dr Breuer said the UAE was the group's biggest market in the Middle East during the first nine months of the year, accounting for 48 per cent of all BMW and Mini regional sales.

"Our top-of-the-range cars, such as the BMW X6, X5, 7, 5 and 3-series, are all consistently among the best-sellers in the UAE," he said.

"Our customers buying these models also usually want the top-of-the-range engine with the highest number of technology features. In most other countries, it's our smaller models and lower-engine variants that are the company's best-selling models.

"We are also seeing a lot of interest from our Dubai customers for personalisation of vehicles."



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