Advertised job vacancies for professionals in the United Arab Emirates increased by 8 per cent in Q1 of this year from Q4 of 2015, according to a new study.
The Robert Walters Middle East Jobs Index found that sales and marketing saw the largest increase in positions advertised (23 per cent), followed by legal services (6.5 per cent).
The firm said this was a positive sign of companies trying to attract new business, while the demand for legal professionals indicated competition for specialist workers.
However, there were significant declines in jobs advertised for banking and financial services professionals (-17 per cent) and accounting and finance (-7 per cent).
This came as financial service firms were restructuring globally, but the UAE was less hard hit than some markets due to its greater focus on retail banking, according to Robert Walters.
In accounting and finance, the firm said large institutions like the big four audit firms were being forced to defer all but the most critical hires until later in the year.
“We do expect an upturn in market confidence towards the end of 2016, which should see more advertised jobs within this sector,” the company said.
It said the overall trend was one of improvement in business confidence in Q1 2016, after sectors were hit hard in the previous quarter.
Despite this, the company’s UAE head suggested there was still a skills gap in the region.
“Although the UAE remains a popular choice for expats, and indeed job vacancy posts receive a lot of interest globally, we are seeing an increasing gap in company requirements and talent available in the region,” said Jason Grundy.
He said firms were increasingly advertising positions across multiple channels to reach a wider audience as a result.