LinkedIn: UAE and KSA professionals prefer working in the Gulf

Region has resilient markets and offers opportunities for professional growth
LinkedIn: UAE and KSA professionals prefer working in the Gulf
Saudi Arabia sees a noteworthy trend with more women (61 percent) actively pursuing career moves

LinkedIn’s latest research highlights a surprising trend among professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. An overwhelming 82 percent expressed a preference to work within the Gulf region rather than considering relocation to Europe or the United States. LinkedIn’s survey delves into the reasons behind this preference, shedding light on factors like the standard of living, an attractive lifestyle, and promising opportunities for professional growth.

Gulf markets defy odds

Despite the global economic challenges posed by the pandemic, LinkedIn’s survey reveals that the UAE stands out as one of the most resilient international markets, witnessing a 0.3 percent annual increase in hiring. This marks a remarkable 30 percent surge compared to pre-pandemic levels in December 2019, underlining the Gulf region’s stability and continued progress.

With the new year well on its way, a substantial 62 percent of surveyed professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are actively seeking a new job or planning to initiate a job search. Hence, professionals are seeking better salaries and a healthier work-life balance.

In contrast to global uncertainties, 79 percent of professionals in Saudi Arabia express confidence in interviewing for new roles.  Meanwhile, 78 percent are optimistic about searching for a new job. This confidence falls in line with 77 percent of professionals believing that their job prospects in 2024 are better than 2023.

Rising rent prices

While the Gulf region remains a preferred work destination, LinkedIn’s survey reveals that a significant 73 percent of professionals are contemplating finding new homes due to escalating rent prices. This highlights the critical link between affordable housing and talent retention, urging employers and policymakers to address this concern.


Skills over degrees

The job market in the UAE has witnessed a notable shift, with 83 percent of professionals emphasizing skills over degrees when seeking new employment. Moreover, upskilling becomes a key focus, as 76 percent expressed their willingness to take on more projects and dedicate extra time to online courses for career advancement.

LinkedIn is responding to the evolving job landscape by offering free LinkedIn Learning Courses. This aims to empower professionals with courses such as:

  • A Career Strategist’s Guide to Getting a Job
  • Navigating Your Career Through Restructuring, Layoffs, and Furloughs
  • Recession-Proof Career Strategies

These resources, available from January 17, 2024, until July 1, 2024, align with LinkedIn’s commitment to supporting professionals in their career journeys.

Gender dynamics

In 2024, Saudi Arabia sees a noteworthy trend with more women (61 percent) actively pursuing career moves compared to men (57 percent). The motivations differ, with women seeking better pay and work-life balance, while men prioritize good salaries and benefits.

“In 2024, we are seeing UAE and KSA professionals taking agency and moving to the driver’s seat when it comes to their careers. This will give rise to a more competitive job market, so standing out from other candidates will be more important than ever,” said Ali Matar, EMEA growth markets leader and head of LinkedIn MENA.

“Fortunately, we do see an appetite amongst professionals in our region to upskill and invest in building their personal profiles on LinkedIn. Highlighting how one’s skills are relevant to the job they want and staying on top of industry trends will also improve chances of finding the right opportunity,” he added.

Read: IMF warns: AI poses risk to 40 percent of jobs worldwide

Jobs on the rise

LinkedIn concludes the research by unveiling the annual Jobs on the Rise lists in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The list showcases the 15 fastest-growing jobs over the past five years and forecasts the trends defining the future of work. From finance and tech roles to emerging opportunities in healthcare, these lists provide actionable insights for professionals to future-proof their careers in a rapidly evolving job landscape.

Top 5 jobs in the UAE

The fastest-growing jobs in the UAE include:

  1. Real estate consultant: Real estate consultants provide advice to clients and investors about property sales.
  2. Partnerships specialist: Partnerships specialists manage, maintain and develop communication and relationships between partners and companies
  3. Mortgage advisor: Mortgage advisors help customers navigate the home mortgage financing process, acting as liaisons between a bank and the client
  4. Private client advisor: Private client advisors work directly with clients on behalf of financial firms to provide advice on wealth management and financial dealings
  5. Growth manager: Growth managers use a data-driven approach to measure a company’s growth in terms of audience size and revenue, and develop strategies for business growth

Top 5 jobs in Saudi Arabia

The fastest-growing jobs in Saudi Arabia include:

  1. Patient care technician: Patient care technicians provide assistance to patients by helping them with their basic needs
  2. Information systems analyst: Information systems analysts examine  a company’s information technology to determine its computer systems and software requirements and create or suggest solutions accordingly
  3. BIM coordinator: Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordinators are responsible for digital processes in the design and construction stages of a project
  4. Health and safety manager: Health and safety managers ensure a secure work environment. They conduct risk assessments, develop safe operational procedures, and inspect sites, among other tasks
  5. HR operations specialists: Human resources operations specialists handle administrative and operational tasks in the HR department, including payroll, benefits, record-keeping, compliance, and employee inquiries


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