Top 5 Industries For Middle East Employees In 2015

Oil, gas and petrochemicals is the most favoured industry in the region, writes Suhail Masri, VP of Sales at Bayt.com.

The World Bank’s latest regional economic update projects growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to accelerate from an average of 2.6 per cent in 2013 to 4.6 per cent in 2015. With the global economy set for a rebound, 2014 seems hopeful and 2015 could be a turning point for countries in the MENA region as they will start to benefit from a recovery in services, oil production, industrial activity and exports as main contributors to this pick-up in growth.

Here’s a list of the top five industries that are expected to perform well in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2015.

1) Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals

Our data suggests that the number one industry in 2015 will be the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry. A majority of MENA professionals state that this industry provides its employees with the best salary package (54 per cent), best work-life balance (31 per cent) and best job security (39 per cent), according to the Bayt.com ‘Top Industries in the MENA’ survey, January 2014.

As oil becomes an even greater commodity, this industry is expected to grow in 2015, so specialists within this field will be at high demand. In the UAE, most professionals (22 per cent) state that the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector is their industry of choice.

2) Banking and Finance

Experts in the financial services sectors are projecting growth as well as a huge increase in demand for staff. Financial analysts, area sales managers and relationship people, risk specialists and analysts, as well as all of the associated IT, marketing, accounting, HR and other back-office people will all add to the growth of this sector in 2015.

Additionally, the Bayt.com survey has revealed that the banking and finance industry offers its employees the second best salary packages after oil (27 per cent), but also a good work-life balance (26 per cent) and career growth opportunities (27 per cent).

In another survey, we found that 39 per cent of UAE professionals have stated that banking and finance is the country’s most attractive industry for hiring and retaining top talent in the country.

3) IT, Electronics and Communications

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of professionals in the MENA feel that the IT, electronics and communications industry has the best career growth prospects, while 16 per cent say it provides the best work-life balance.

4) Government/ Civil services/ Utilities

With the best work-life balance (31 per cent) and best job security (39 per cent) in the region, this sector is definitely on the path to becoming a top industry in 2015. In fact, we are constantly seeing the government as a leading industry that attracts local talent across the MENA region.

In the UAE especially, 48 per cent of professionals are under the opinion that the government is an extremely favourable employer.

5) Education/ Academia

If you have ever thought of becoming a teacher, now is the right time to pursue that dream. Our survey shows that the education/ academia industry is the second most attractive industry for women in the MENA (38 per cent), providing a good level of work-life balance (21 per cent) for its employees as well as ensuring superior job security. And the good news is that this industry will only get bigger and better in the years to come.