Oil Price Slump Slows U.A.E. Recruitment Market, Survey Shows

Lower oil prices have hit the job market in the United Arab Emirates, as expatriates look beyond the Gulf finance hub for employment, a survey showed.

Professional hiring fell 1 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, with 8,109 jobs created in the period, recruiting firm Morgan McKinley said in a report on Sunday. The number of job-seekers dropped 6 percent to 38,100 in the same period.

Many people who previously sought jobs in the U.A.E. are now looking at other options in the U.K., U.S., Australia or Asia, Trefor Murphy, managing director for the Middle East and North Africa at Morgan McKinley, said in the report. “There is no need to come to the U.A.E. anymore and yet two years ago everyone was looking to work in Dubai,” Murphy said.

Oil prices would need to rise by $5-10 a barrel to make new drilling and exploration projects viable, while the cost of living and doing business in the U.A.E. are also challenges, Murphy said.

Banking is one industry that’s still expanding, and the country’s lenders have “aggressive” international growth plans in countries such as Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan, Morgan McKinley said.

Hiring should rebound for the remainder of the year and grow at between 5 percent and 10 percent per quarter, though “much depends on the stability of oil prices,” the company said.