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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Expo 2020 to provide fillip to UAE’s job market this year

Prospects of better economic growth will create more employment opportunities, according to the regional head of Monster.com.
Visitors looks at a model of Expo 2020 at the World Future Energy Summit 2017 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center. Ravindranath K / The National
Visitors looks at a model of Expo 2020 at the World Future Energy Summit 2017 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center. Ravindranath K / The National

The health care and information technology and telecommunications (ICT) sectors are expected to drive the job market in the UAE as Dubai moves towards preparing for Expo 2020, according to the online jobs portal Monster.com.

Going by current economic growth reports, “in the current fiscal year, the market would be better as compared to the last 12 months”, said Sanjay Modi, the managing director for Asia Pacific and Middle East at Monster.com. “And if that happens, there will be more expansion, and there would be more confidence [in the market], and that should throw up more job opportunities.”

The IMF is projecting that the UAE economy will grow by 2.5 per cent this year, compared with 2.3 per cent last year, thanks to an improvement in oil prices.

In December online job postings in the UAE dropped by 31 per cent year-on-year, with the hospitality sector being the worst with a 64 per cent decline, according to the Monster Employment Index.

The hotel industry, which registered an average year-on-year decline of 25 per cent through 2016, is suffering from a strong US dollar, to which the dirham is pegged, the oil price rout and an oversupply of hotel rooms.

The healthcare industry showed a drop in job postings in December by 10 per cent year-on-year, Monster said, but maintained an average year-on-year growth of about 20 per cent. The UAE’s push to become a medical tourism hub along with investment going into healthcare infrastructure would help boost the sector, Mr Modi said.

Healthcare spending in the UAE, which reached US$12.9 billion in 2013, is projected to grow to $19.5bn by 2020, according to a 2016 report by Alpen Capital. The largest Medcare hospital with 150 beds is expected to open in Sharjah next quarter. A 100-bed Aster hospital is expected to open in Al Qusais, Dubai, in the first quarter of next year.

While the construction sector struggled last year, it is expected to pick up this year as several large scale projects get the government green light.

In January, the Expo 2020 Bureau that is in charge of delivery of the event said that it would award contracts worth Dh11bn this year.

Dubai is also moving towards establishing itself as a smart city and smart cities “are all about 360 degrees integration of technology”, Mr Modi said, referring to the resilience of the ICT sector.

Hospitality and oil and gas sectors would continue to lag behind in terms of job creation, according to last year’s trend of online job postings on Monster.com.

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