UAE Job Market Soars as Hiring Increases, But Jobseekers Call for Flexibility

The UAE job market has experienced a remarkable rebound, showing a 4.2% increase in hiring rates in May compared to the previous year. Even more impressive is the 46% surge in job growth compared to the pre-pandemic levels of May 2019. This resurgence comes after facing a decline earlier in the year during the correction phase of the local job market. Several sectors, including aviation, real estate, travel, tourism, and others, have played a pivotal role in driving this positive trend.

Employer Rigidity vs. Jobseeker Flexibility

Amidst this growth, an interesting dynamic has emerged, revealing a tug-of-war between employers and job seekers when it comes to work flexibility. Remote job postings witnessed a decline of 4.1% in May, continuing a 13-month downward trend. However, hybrid job postings have seen a remarkable increase of 25.2% in May 2023 compared to the same time last year. This preference for hybrid roles signifies jobseekers’ growing interest in work arrangements that offer a balance between remote and in-office work.

Ali Matar, head of EMEA growth markets at LinkedIn, highlighted the disconnect between employer and employee preferences. While 44% of UAE executives plan to reduce work flexibility in 2023, jobseekers are actively seeking flexible job opportunities. This shift in jobseeker preferences calls for employers to re-examine their work models and adapt to the evolving demands of the workforce to attract and retain top talent.

Building Resilient and Successful Businesses

Despite the job market’s recovery, the UAE’s labor market remains competitive by historical standards, indicating ample opportunities for individuals with the right skills. Matar stressed the importance of matching the right person with the right skills to the appropriate position, emphasizing the future of work lies in this alignment.

To remain competitive and future-ready, businesses must prioritize work flexibility and create an environment that aligns with job seekers’ preferences. Companies that embrace a flexible work model are likely to attract skilled professionals and build resilient, successful teams capable of thriving in the post-pandemic era.


The UAE job market’s impressive growth signifies a positive trajectory for the country’s economy. However, as job seekers call for increased flexibility, employers face the challenge of aligning their work models with the evolving demands of the workforce. Embracing a hybrid work environment may prove to be the key to attracting and retaining top talent while building resilient and successful businesses in the dynamic job landscape.

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