Doing business in Dubai: Trends and developments to keep an eye on Dubai has become an increasingly desirable location in which to live and work, with a competitive and diverse business landscape. New developments announced by the government look set to continue the emirate’s upward trajectory as a fully-fledged global business capital, and at Swisslinx we’re excited to continue expanding in this part of the world. With exciting developments in tech entrepreneurship, oil and gas movements and a booming finance sector, there’s plenty to keep an eye on. Here are some of our highlights: A growing market As the biggest re-exporting centre in the Middle East, Dubai’s economy has become more dynamic and diversified in recent years, with international trade growing at an average of more than 11% each year since 1998. The emirate also recorded 41% year-on-year growth in foreign direct investment in 2018, creating around 25,000 new jobs and reflecting investors’ optimism in the future of the local economy. As the leading hub for finance and transportation in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dubai is also ranked in the first quartile for business activity, human capital, information exchange and cultural exchange. It hosts the headquarters for most major international corporations based in the GCC and is an international tourism destination, with entrepreneurship and private investments beginning to emerge to shape a culture of innovation. Alongside that, the UAE has reached the 11th rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list for 2019 thanks to its modern infrastructure, supportive legislature and access to networking opportunities. Put simply, the Dubai business market is expanding in many different directions, making it an exciting time to be doing business in this part of the world. The emergence of tech entrepreneurship Early-stage start-ups make up nearly half of all companies registered in Dubai, according to Dubai Statistics Sector, with accelerators and incubators emerging at pace. The UAE sees high levels of commitment from the government and independent programmes to support the tech ecosystem, with Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Future Accelerators supporting growth in innovation. Alongside incubators are initiatives such as the STEP Conference and GITEX Technology week, providing entrepreneurs and start-ups with the ability to showcase their work and engage with investors. Banking and finance gain steam The financial services market has long been a key pillar of Dubai’s economy, and this shows no sign of abating. So far this year we’ve seen the launch of a project aimed at providing 1,500 banking and finance jobs to Emirati citizens within 100 days and plans to triple the size of Dubai’s financial district (DIFC). This expansion is part of a move to cement Dubai’s position as an economic and commercial hub for the region, adding 13 million square feet to the existing Dubai International Financial Center. The DIFC investment hub is already high-performing, reporting its best-ever year for new company registrations in 2018 with a total of 437 new registrations. This saw an 11% rise in net profits for the year, taking the number of registered financial companies to 625. Transformation is ongoing within the UAE banking sector, with banks operating with high capital and a positive outlook for the sector both now and into the future. Oil and gas continues to recover As a major oil and gas hub globally, it’s no surprise that the UAE’s presence in this sector remains strong. After a well-documented price slump in late 2014 the market has recently shown continued stability with the current brent crude price averaging USD $67 - $71. The sector has seen a recent increase in exploration investment, demonstrating a renewed confidence in the market. The GCC has USD $835bn worth of active oil and gas construction projects underway currently. Development of the region’s major players is ongoing. Aramco has announced an expansion into international oil and gas exploration, likely putting them in direct competition with Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, while ADNOC is actively seeking venture partners for its 2030 growth strategy. Such large-scale projects and ongoing investment in oil and gas suggests a burgeoning employment space for both local and international candidates. How Swisslinx can help you Established in 2007, our Dubai office has a focus on the Banking & Finance, Technology and Oil & Gas sectors in the Middle East and North Africa. Based in the DIFC, we have access to the huge number of opportunities available to clients and candidates here, keeping ahead of updated and trends within this part of the market. Our multilingual team of specialists are considered experts in their respective markets and have experience in recruiting for all levels of seniority up to and including C-Suite and Board Level. Our consultants have access to the most up-to-date information regarding the market and offer the best local advice possible to our candidates and clients. Get in touch with our Dubai office or view our latest jobs in Dubai and the UAE.
Doing business in Zurich: Trends to watch out for Since being named as the world’s most sustainable city in 2016, Zurich hasn’t rested on its laurels, continuing to flourish as a place to both live and work. The social, environmental, and economic factors that led to the award are things that the city has long been revered for, but it’s not something that’s happened by accident. With a desire to maintain its reputation as a “centre of economic life and education” (a line coined by the official tourist site myswitzerland.com), investment in Zurich’s local infrastructure continues at pace, while being conscious of its environmental impact; the city is one of the lowest generators of emissions and consumers of water in Europe. Why Zurich attracts businesses and people While it’s regularly ranked as the second-most competitive financial centre in Europe behind London, uncertainties around the future of the UK could well play into Zurich’s hands. Already home to 10 of the world’s largest financial firms, the engineering hubs of tech giants and a giant data centre industry, a local startup scene has emerged attracting talent from amongst the 60,000 students who call the city home. While some will naturally be keen to move into an established household name business when they come out of education, the chance to be a part of something new and exciting is just as attractive to the modern workforce. Zurich offers the best of both worlds. Zurich’s low rate of 3.0% unemployment is on a par with the national average, below that of Basel (3.6%) and Geneva (4.9%) and far better than the European average of 6.8%. The business setup is there to cope, no matter how many people want to call the city home! Sensible city planning Of the 425k people who currently call Zurich home, 68% of them are of working age. That’s 2% above the national average in Switzerland and 3% above European averages. Those may sound like small margins, but in a city that’s seen annual population increases of 1.8% over the past decade, it may look from the outside to be a growing city with limited space to expand. In other regions that could create some serious logistical nightmare — over-urbanisation has a habit of pushing the cost of living way up — however, Zurich isn’t just any other city. The planning department at the City of Zurich recognised this trend well before it became a problem, implementing an active policy to make better use of abandoned industrial sites to provide affordable studio spaces and rehearsal rooms. This has seen great redevelopment in Zurich-West, where the former derelict buildings are becoming lively spaces full of contemporary art. Refurbished shipping containers have become pop-up retail spaces and dingy back streets and railway arches now house some of the most desirable restaurants and cafes in the city. Providing a launchpad While Zurich is home to many large corporate financial services organisations, such as UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance, it’s increasingly becoming known for its positive startup environment. Areas like Kreis 5 provide the perfect spot for coworking, and the many meetups, tech conferences and incubator schemes have helped fuel the thriving startup scene. With the close proximity to those making financial decisions, some for these companies can be expected to break out of startup mode in the coming years. Exactly who it will be is a matter for debate, but there are some strong contenders. Of course, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and within the financial sector companies such as Advanon and Wefox are attempting to challenge the traditional norms of the industry. The medical folk are arguably even more active when it comes to innovation, with Ava becoming a vital service for women across the world, and Versantis, Xeltis and Cutiss showing strength in the pharma and medical devices field. Whether it’s Selfnation in fashion, ComfyLight in home security, Nezasa in travel or Beekeeper in employee communication, every corner of the city has a potential ‘next big thing’ on its hands. For any company considering where to base their HQ, Zurich surely must close to the top of the list. Make your business move with Swisslinx As a specialist recruitment company providing talent solutions across Switzerland and internationally, we’re proud to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and recruitment trends. With a Zurich base, we are active partners to new startups and larger organisations emerging in the city, and have a thriving network of skilled, vetted candidates ready to make their mark in this market. Find out more about what we offer here.
How is technology impacting healthcare and life sciences? The impact of digital technologies is being felt in nearly every industry around the world, and healthcare & life sciences are no exception. With innovation, adaptation and collaboration becoming increasingly urgent components of the digital health sciences network – and the advancement of technology accelerating in line with plummeting costs – it’s no surprise that the role of tech in healthcare is only set to increase in the coming years. This will have a significant impact not only on the way that patients receive healthcare, but also in the way professionals deliver healthcare and life sciences products and services. Here’s what to keep an eye on: Artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence has enormous potential for the healthcare and life sciences industry, with machine learning technology poised to significantly change how the market operates. Increasingly intelligent machines can access, interpret and process R&D data that has previously been siloed, allowing for greater personalisation across the industry. This machine assistance can also lead researchers to better understand biological information, in turn helping them to develop more targeted – and effective – therapies. We can expect to see automation play a bigger part in drug discovery and development processes, with smart machines learning how to complete routine knowledge work in order to free up human experts for value-added work. Automation can be used to hit key stages – such as hypothesis to target, target to hit – faster, saving time and money for life science organisations. Already we’ve seen Oxford researchers develop AI to diagnose scans for heart disease and lung cancer, and connected devices being used in the homes of patients the world over to feed their data through to care practitioners, creating better monitoring environments and earlier interventions. Blockchain Blockchain’s use in life sciences and healthcare can lead to enhanced collaboration, traceability, trust and auditability, according to Deloitte, with the data sharing and authentication technology touching functions including clinical trials, claims processing, supply chain management and financial transactions. It’s particularly beneficial when it comes to handling identity, allowing electronic health records to be combined into a single patient record that is shared system-wide without the loss of privacy or security. This would give patients full access to their own data and introduce a less fragmented system of tracking information across different providers. Blockchain can work in tandem with other technologies, including wearables, to securely collect detailed, real-time medical information from patients that can then be timestamped and made immutable. Blockchain has enormous potential when it comes to streamlining and enhancing communication in the entire life sciences and healthcare ecosystem, but this relies on the adoption and trust of stakeholders – including healthcare professionals, drug developers and patients themselves. Digital reality Augmented and virtual reality have several practical applications within life sciences, especially when it comes to allowing patients and professional alike to visualise and practice situations in a ‘real world’ setting. Immersive AR and VR tools are going beyond simple gameplay to more practical, progressive applications. Training across the sales, manufacturing and distribution processes can be greatly enhanced by AR and VR technologies that allow people to explore ‘what-if’ scenarios and practice new techniques. From a consumer perspective, digital reality can be used to assist patients to carry out exercise and therapy programmes in the comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, such technology can help surgeons to prepare for and perform surgery, with German company ApoQlar developing a Virtual Surgery Intelligence tool to render MRI and CT images in 3D. Are you ready for the digital revolution? With technology touching so many different parts of healthcare and life sciences, and innovation charging ahead at pace, it’s clear that those working within this forward-thinking, research-driven industry must embrace tech and the change that comes with it. A willingness to adapt and take digital developments onboard will stand candidates in good stead, while organisations who want to remain at the forefront of healthcare and life science innovation would be foolish not to consider the ongoing impact of technology. As for us at Swisslinx, it’s our job to keep at the forefront of technological trends and how they might impact your career. Working heavily within the commercial units of our clients we see digital sales skills are now a must have for sales and business development professionals. One significant specific growth area is within the diagnostics market, here clients are open to non traditional profiles including those from software sales. Alongside this, venture capitals partnerships are looking for investment professionals with medical and scientific backgrounds coupled with MBAs, there is a particular interest in digital health and medtech firms. Move forward with your healthcare and life sciences career. Contact us to see how we can help, or view our latest jobs. here.