3 ways to bridge the talent gap in the UAE

The UAE has been enjoying big booms in economic growth, urbanisation, financial development, and energy for the past decade. Being strategically located at the intersection of Europe, Africa and Asia, the region is only set to grow in its potential as a global leader.


With all the success coming through its luxurious gates, the UAE is facing a big challenge, which is finding the right professionals to fill niche roles in the accountancy, finance, legal and technology industries. This needs partnership from major players, big and small, to come together to work towards a solution. Industry experts are noting the fierce competition for talent as it becomes more and more difficult to find skilled professionals. On digging deeper, the issue is not only about being technically competent, it’s about having people skills to match.


Think Global Recruitment have been working with partners in major international firms in the UAE in the accountancy and finance space to provide solutions to this issue. This year our managing director, Abigail Stevens, will be going on a Trade Mission to the UAE and discussing the talent gap; one key area she is passionate about.


So, what are the 3 ways to bridge the talent gap in the UAE, according to industry leaders within the region –

  1. Shaping the education for future skills in demand

To tackle the challenges of tomorrow, we need to develop the right skills in today’s young workforce. And this starts with designing an education and investing in curricula that aligns with future needs.

We’ll be meeting with leaders in the region to talk about unlocking the potential of the young population and how we can assist in closing the talent and gender gaps.

Omar K. Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries (a multi-billion dollar conglomerate), has said “our region, with its young population, stands ready to gain from its enormous human potential – but we need to do our part to make it happen. We need to do more to skill the population for jobs, now and in the future, and to provide the high-value employment this region needs to excel through the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”


  1. Developing the workforce through diversification on all fronts

Major players in the UAE economy are taking positive action to move towards a diversified knowledge economy. We can see this happening with the region increasingly creating new job opportunities. Two of the major drivers of this change are the future of work and gender parity. The future of work is redesigning workplaces to be more connected and reinvent roles as robotics, AI, Big Data become more prevalent. All of the major Big Four firms have their finger on the pulse of this growing trend. The second key area is gender parity, which we are extremely proud of being a part of. Increasing gender diversity and achieving gender parity is not only a good way of doing business, but it also brings about new ideas and innovation. We’re seeing the rise of Dubai becoming one of the major international service economies and an established center for financial, real estate development, retail, tourism, and exports. It’s on our agenda to hear about how women are succeeding in the Middle East and bringing their ideas to the table.

Our business in built on improving lives, and we’re excited to learn more about how we can do our best in growing the diversity on gender, knowledge, and ethnic fronts.

“The data shows that, to prepare for the future of work, the region must take action to invest in talent, close skills and gender gaps and create high-value-adding jobs to unlock the potential of a young population and to equip economies to tackle the challenges of the 21st century,” said Saadia Zahidi, head of the education, gender and work system initiative and member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum.


  1. Encouraging a collaborative culture and global state of mind

We’re seeing the importance of soft skills coming into the spotlight. Firms need people who are not only technically sound, but are also team players to cultivate a positive culture. Compassion, open-mindedness, adaptability, and an entrepreneurial spirit to drive innovation are a difficult mix to find when you’re seeking the perfect person for the role. One way to do this in your own team is to think about hiring globally. Go beyond the boundaries and recruitment from around the world to bring build a winning, multi-cultural team. Not only will this bring about variety of views, but also insider knowledge to compete in a global economy.


The UAE has fantastic growth opportunities for the future and we’re excited to be part of it. We’ve been partnering with international firms in the region since 2000, and this year we will also be exploring avenues to expand our relationships into the legal sector.


Stay tuned to hear about the conversations we’ll be having with our partners in major international firms in the UAE and how we’re pushing the conversation of future work and talent forward.

Check out our plans for the Trade Mission here, and check out the latest roles in the UAE here



EY GCC Education Report 2015

The Talent Gap Report – LinkedIn

Deloitte – Future of Work

Khaleej Times

Arabian Business