ABU DHABI // A jobs fair aimed at boosting Emiratisation has been declared a success after attracting more than 15,000 job seekers.
The three-day Tawdheef exhibition, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which ended yesterday, brought job seekers into contact with representatives from more than 120 companies, in a bid to match the brightest Emirati talents with the best career prospects.
Hayete Jemai, the exhibition's director, said that she had received positive feedback from both companies and job seekers.
"The exhibitors were happy with the quality of CVs and the professional profiles. Most exhibitors want to come back next year," she said.
"Emiratis liked that they were given the priority. In Tawdheef we facilitate the will from the government to provide for the Emirati population."
Ms Jemai said the exhibition had attracted 2,000 more visitors than last year and that there had also been an increase in the number of government organisations participating.
"This is a very good platform [for government organisations] to select their needs," Ms Jemai said.
"This exhibition covers all the sectors - banking, manufacturing, transport, municipalities, and the armed forces."
On Wednesday, the exhibition opened to ladies only from 10am to 1pm, and Ms Jemai said this had encouraged female visitors.
"This is the second year we have implemented this idea. Ladies are more comfortable talking among themselves and the exhibitors are looking for talented ladies," she added.
Mohammed Al Shamsi, a senior talent attraction officer at Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, a government entity, said that the exhibition exceeded his expectations.
"A huge number of students asked to apply, many of them have degrees in technical majors that we were looking for," he said, adding that the majority of CVs he received were from female Emiratis and were "extraordinary".
"I felt good. We have a responsibility to a certain strategy for the company, including manpower," he added. "I hope we can fill the vacancies."
This was the company's first time at the exhibition and it plans to return in the years to come.
Ahmed Al Sarrah, senior human resources manager at the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, said the company's booth attracted a huge number of visitors and that he had been impressed at the standard of CVs.
"We already had pre-interviews in the stand and will be contacting them directly within three to four weeks," he said.
But it was not only companies that were pleased with the turnout. "It is more than I expected," said one job seeker, Hamad Al Hammadi, 28.
"I like that they are providing more information unlike the other previous exhibitions."
The senior accountant, who has an MBA, said he was attending the exhibition because he had a routine job and was looking for a change. "I want something out of my field. My goal is to broaden my experience," he said.
Sisters Anoud Al Dhalee, 23, and Fatema, 22, had contrasting experiences of the exhibition.
Anoud, who graduated last June with a higher diploma in IT software engineering from Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), said she was hopeful it would help her to get a job soon.
"There are many new companies and they are more interesting. This year they are more interactive and are helping me get an idea about the companies," she said.
But Fatema, who also graduated from HCT, and at the same time as her sister with a diploma in business, said such exhibitions failed to inspire her. "It is my third exhibition and with no results. The companies give the impression that they will hire us immediately, but that is not true," she said.
Fatima Al Marzooqi, 22, who graduated from Zayed University this week with a bachelor's degree in environmental health, was more upbeat.
"It seems I will find a job because all the companies now have an environmental department. We are wanted and there aren't many of us," she said.