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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

Dubai and Abu Dhabi among top 20 cities to pursue work, survey says

While Dubai came in 6th position on the ranking, Abu Dhabi took the 14th spot

Dubai and Abu Dhabi were the only two Middle East cities that featured in the ranking by Boston Consulting Group and recruitment agency The Network. Delores Johnson / The National
Dubai and Abu Dhabi were the only two Middle East cities that featured in the ranking by Boston Consulting Group and recruitment agency The Network. Delores Johnson / The National

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are among the top 20 cities people would move to for work, with both seeing marked increases in their attractiveness to the global workforce, according to a ranking by Boston Consulting Group and recruitment agency The Network.

“London continues to be the first-choice city for talent worldwide, New York is the number two city destination, followed by Berlin -showing the preference for well-known cities of the West,” said Mike Booker, managing director of The Network and co-author of the report.

“But cities in other regions are starting to attract notice. Dubai (the most populous city in the UAE) is now a top 10 city work destination, and Abu Dhabi has moved sharply up the rankings too.”

Dubai ranked 6th in the survey conducted as part of BCG’s Decoding Global Talent 2018 report, published last month. The survey findings, however, were only made available on Sunday this week.

While 12 per cent of respondents said they would move to Dubai to work, 22 per cent chose number one-ranked London and 16 per cent opted for New York, which took second place on the ranking. Berlin and Barcelona took third position with 15 per cent each.

Abu Dhabi ranked 14th, moving into the top 30 for the first time. Dubai and Abu Dhabi were the only two Middle East cities that featured in the ranking.

Overall, 57 per cent all workers surveyed said they would move to another country for work, according to the report. While that is a sizable number, it is almost 7 percentage points lower than in 2014, the last time BCG and The Network, an alliance of more than 50 global recruitment websites, posed the question.

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The drop in outbound mobility sentiment is particularly evident in some emerging economies, particularly China, the report said. A third (33 per cent) of Chinese respondents said they are willing to leave their home country for work, a steep decline from 2014, when the proportion was 61 per cent.

Chinese workers are now near the bottom for mobility among the 197 countries surveyed, BCG said, as greater employment opportunities arise for them on their home turf.

At the other end of the spectrum, some developed countries have slipped in the rankings, possibly due to uncertain politics, the report said. For example, the UK has fallen from second among the preferred work destinations to fifth today, as ongoing Brexit negotiations cloud the political and economic environment.

“Making a decision to pursue work in a new country is very personal but there are larger forces too, including uncertainty about future government policy [at home],” said Mr Booker.

The study also found that workers are more attracted by workplace rewards on offer with potential new jobs in other countries, such as those provided by good interpersonal office relationships, than compensation.

The survey was conducted among 366,000 workers and 6,000 recruiters across 197 countries, although BCG did not provide the total number of survey responses.