Top 10 ‘in-demand’ job roles in the UAE and the salaries they offer

Employers are seeking candidates with specialist skills, industry experience, and systems knowledge



Management accountants, talent acquisition specialists and HR business partners have emerged as among the most sought after job roles in the UAE for the first half of this year, according to a new report by consultancy Robert Half.

To attract new hires and retain top talent, companies must adopt trends such as flexible working, and training and development, the report stated.

Gareth El Mettouri, associate director of Robert Half UAE, said: “With economic growth in the UAE set to accelerate this year, it is unsurprising to see faster evolution of the workplace. As companies adjust to the challenges and opportunities presented to their business, the need not only for top talent, but a meaningful ‘business fit’ for candidates, intensifies.

“Employers are seeking candidates with specialist skills, industry experience, and systems knowledge. The most in-demand of these being mid-level, specialised roles such as security analysts and AI developers.

“Candidates applying for these jobs can expect to enjoy some negotiating room on flexible working and starting salaries within their remuneration packages. The search for bilingual candidates in the legal and finance sectors is also set to increase, as companies look to comply with international best practice standards,” he added.

Top 10 jobs for 2020 in the UAE

1. Management accountants ($79,300 – $113,000 per annum)

Demand for accounting professionals is growing in the UAE as start-ups seek professionals with accountancy experience to establish and develop their financial processes. Equally, SMEs through to large multinational companies are looking to streamline costs and maximise their bottomline.

2. CFOs ($196,100 – $438,900)

With a talent deficit threatening hiring strategy across the finance and accounting sector, organisations are looking for CFOs to lead from the top and deliver business targets, with a focus on market regulation and increased return on investment.

3. Risk managers ($98,100 – $156,900)

The financial services sector is seeing a hiring increase due to rapid advancements in technology. Specifically, there has been growing demand for risk managers, as awareness of the dangers posed by new technologies and processes becomes a priority.

4. Heads of digital / digital transformation ($170,800 – $261,600)

Leading from the top, heads of digital, or heads of digital transformation, will be required to oversee the modernisation and vital digitalisation needed for future business success.

5. Artificial intelligence (AI) developers ($52,300 – $125,100)

To remain at the forefront of development expertise, businesses are bringing specialist support in AI within their in-house technology team. Those with medium to senior-level development experience will stand out against the competition as they can bring best-practice insights to the role.

6. HR business partners ($65,400 – $98,000)

Due to the new UAE labour laws, HR professionals can expect a surge in demand for their skills, especially those who specialise in the benchmarking of compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain staff.

7. Talent acquisition specialists ($39,200 – $58,900)

Demand for talent acquisition professionals has increased within large multinational organisations, as the need to source top talent becomes increasingly competitive.

8. Legal counsel ($89,000 – $155,500)

Corporates are looking for legal counsel professionals with 5-8 years of local experience, who offer the skills to support with developments in fintech, financial regulation and dispute resolution.

9. Legal assistants ($46,000 – $65,000)

Bilingual legal assistants can expect a wider range of job opportunities, as businesses look for support in drafting and reviewing contracts in different languages, to maintain alignment with international best practice.

10. Security analysts ($55,600 – $114,400)

Security analysts will be in high demand, supplying businesses with the know-how on what they should be doing to defend and secure their data.