Since the outbreak of Coronavirus in 2020 employment opportunities have contracted worldwide. But things turned for the better in the fourth quarter of 2021, especially in the Gulf region. According to a report by Cooper Fitch, a leading recruitment expert, hiring activity peaked in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2021and things are going to get even better in 2022. This comes as a huge relief for many in the Gulf territories especially those who had to let go of their job once the mischievous virus started to spread rapidly in the region and the ones who were harbouring the desire to move to the region for better prospects.
This is not an attempt by Cooper Fitch to paint a rosy picture of the Gulf region but the ground reality. As per the recruitment expert, job creation across the region, including the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, rose by 40 percent in the final quarter of 2021 compared to the similar period in 2020. The uptick in hiring can primarily be attributed to the remarkable recovery in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. And, the visa reforms introduced by the UAE recently are also going to push the rate of employment higher.
After the spread of the virus, several naysayers were predicting doomsday in the region, however, the news of the impending disaster turned out to be nothing more than mere rumour-mongering. So, what prompted the scenario to change dramatically? Going by the Gulf Employment Index unleashed recently, Cooper Fitch indicated that the Gulf economy took the path of recovery in the second half of 2021 and the factors responsible for the same happens to be increasing production levels and oil prices, apart from relaxation of COVID-induced curbs in the GCC countries.
Now, let us find out the areas where recruitment activities were higher. The hiring process peaked at a new high in sectors such as real estate, public, software development, cyber security, sales and marketing. Also, the hiring witnessed a marked improvement in human resources, banking and digital spheres.
Coming to recruitment activities in each GCC state, Saudi Arabia took the pole position with 21 percent, followed by Oman (12 percent), Kuwait (11 percent), Bahrain (9 percent) and Qatar (8 percent). As far as the UAE is concerned, the Gulf country witnessed a quarter-by-quarter reduction of 6 percent, however, the recruitment expert refuted any kind of recession in the emirates and linked the marginal slowdown to the recently-concluded holiday period. It even added that going further the numbers will significantly improve in the country.
Going forward, Cooper Fitch predicts a decent enough increase in job creation across the countries in the Gulf. And, in 2022, GCC is poised to have a great year employment-wise, with every constituent in the GCC chiming in with their job creation strategies, the Cooper Hitch report concluded.