Dubai, Abu Dhabi among most preferred by global talent: report
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Dubai, Abu Dhabi among most preferred by global talent, reveals report

Dubai, Abu Dhabi among most preferred by global talent, reveals report

The UAE outpaces global averages in attracting expatriates, particularly lauded for its prowess in innovation and digitalisation

Neesha Salian
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are rising in appeal for global talent shows BCG survey image getty images

Drawing insights from more than 150,000 professionals across 188 countries, a recent report highlighted the UAE’s growing appeal to professionals worldwide.

In collaboration with The Network and The Stepstone Group, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently released a report titled Decoding Global Talent 2024, spotlighting the UAE’s rise in the global talent landscape.

The report reveals a rapid rise in the UAE’s attractiveness, now ranked 14th globally.

Marking the UAE’s appeal for global talent, Dubai and Abu Dhabi emerged as the 3rd and 4th most preferred cities among respondents.

Seventy-three of the respondents cited the quality of job opportunities as the primary draw to the UAE, followed closely by considerations such as income, tax, cost of living, and overall quality of life.

These factors collectively position the UAE as a leading destination for ambitious professionals seeking growth and opportunity on a global scale.

“The UAE continues to carve a reputation as a fertile ground for career growth, drawing talents, especially from the Middle East and beyond,” said Maya El Hachem, MD and partner, UAE BCG Office lead.

She added: “The report presents a UAE that is not just keeping pace but setting the pace in the global talent marketplace. The strategic positioning of the Emirates, accentuated by its safety and progressive outlook, makes it a burgeoning hotspot for the global workforce. In addition, the confluence of exceptional job quality, competitive incomes, and an enriching lifestyle makes the UAE a beacon for ambitious professionals.

“The UAE’s advancement in global ranks further substantiates its commitment to cultivating an environment thriving on diversity and opportunity.

Factors attracting global talent to the UAE

Building on its momentum, the UAE government introduced new visa schemes in April 2022 to attract global talent, particularly in burgeoning sectors like private equity, venture capital, and AI.

This strategic move not only enhances the country’s competitiveness but also amplifies its appeal as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship on the world stage.

Despite global uncertainties, the desire for international relocation remains robust, with a notable increase in willingness to move abroad for work in the UAE from 55 per cent in 2018 to 73 per cent in 2023.

Sector-specific dynamics further influence global mobility trends, with engineering, health, finance, and marketing emerging as key domains where professionals exhibit a high willingness to work abroad.

Financial motivations, career advancement, and an improved quality of life rank among the primary drivers for relocation, reflecting the multifaceted aspirations of global professionals.

Moreover, the preferences and expectations of UAE workers align closely with global trends, emphasising the importance of factors such as housing, visa assistance, relocation support, language training, and legal financial advice in facilitating seamless transitions.

The pandemic enabled a move towards remote work, with both UAE-based and global professionals increasingly embracing flexible working arrangements.

This trend is mirrored in the growing inclination towards offshore opportunities, underscoring the importance of adaptability and innovation in the evolving labour landscape.

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