x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Emirates ranks 7th for foreign assignments

The UAE is the world's seventh most popular destination for international assignments, according to a study by Mercer.

The Emirates was far ahead of other countries in the region in terms of overseas posting assignments. Jaime Puebla / The National
The Emirates was far ahead of other countries in the region in terms of overseas posting assignments. Jaime Puebla / The National

The UAE is the world's seventh most popular destination for international assignments, according to a study by Mercer.

The global human resources and financial consulting firm surveyed almost 1,000 companies on where they were mostly likely to transfer staff overseas for a set period.

The United States came out on top, with 55 per cent of companies questioned reporting that they expected to increase the number of openings there.

Brazil came next with 43 per cent, then China with 41 per cent, Australia with 39 per cent and the United Kingdom and Mexico, which both stood at 28 per cent.

The UAE and Russia were tied in seventh place with 23 per cent.

"These are not the local hires, but the real expatriates that are here on a contract for certain periods of time within the same company and if nothing changes then they would go either back to their countries on an a different assignment after that period of usually two, three or four years," said Nuno Gomes, a principal and Mercer's information solutions leader for the Middle East.

The Emirates was far ahead of other countries in the region, with 6.7 per cent of companies surveyed reporting that they intended to increase the number of assignments in Saudi Arabia and 2.2 per cent in Qatar.

"What we were able to capture and this is partially in the survey but also partially from conversations … and from our colleagues elsewhere is that the UAE and, mainly Dubai, is still at the heart of this region," said Mr Gomes."It is certainly the easiest place to set up and do business from."

Mr Gomes added, “There are a lot of these multinationals that have regional headquarters here in the UAE, primarily in Dubai but there are a number of them that are setting up second regional offices in Abu Dhabi.”

Companies in the United States and Canada represented almost half the survey sample, followed by Europe at almost 30 per cent, Asia-Pacific at 15 per cent and South and Central America at 5 per cent. Positions were mostly management level.

The top reason for international assignments was to provide technical skills not available locally. Career management and leadership development came second, followed by knowledge transfer, fulfilling specific project needs and providing specific managerial skills not available locally.

 

gduncan@thenational.ae