How has Covid-19 impacted Dubai?

Posting date: 01 July 2020

Around the world, countries have been impacted by and responded to Covid-19 in different ways. While Switzerland chose to rely heavily on testing and offered support to businesses, the United Arab Emirates implemented a travel ban, cut interest rates and rolled out a stimulus package.


As a travel hub with many expat and temporary workers, Dubai has been presented with unique challenges during the pandemic. Now as individuals and businesses start to recover and now look to the future, what can we expect for the city, and how might the economy recover?


Travel plans have changed

Dubai came to a standstill in April as the UAE government imposed some of the strictest lockdown measures in the world. Now, the emirate is opening the economy back up, and a significant part of this is travel.


As one of the world’s most significant travel hubs, Dubai was heavily impacted by lockdown measures. It's a city reliant on tourism, hospitality and aviation, so the grounding of planes and imposition of strict travel restrictions have had a major effect on the economy. March’s complete halt of passenger flights has contributed to passenger travel through Dubai dropping by a fifth in the first quarter of 2020, though special repatriation flights still operated to ensure travellers and contract workers could return home. The transport and storage sector, which includes aviation, land, air and water transport, made up 18.5% of Dubai’s GDP in 2017 and was its most active economic driver in the first half of 2019, so such a significant halt could be detrimental to the wider economy.


However, there is now good news for the aviation and hospitality sectors with the resumption of travel from to and from Dubai by July 7. Airports and national carriers are resuming large-scale operations whilst maintaining strict health and safety measures, which may help to accelerate the predicted economic recovery. We can therefore expect to see more opportunity for investment in the travel and tourism sector over the coming months.


Staff consider their options

While the UAE did roll out a stimulus package to help its economy in the midst of the pandemic, Dubai hasn’t seen the same level of support that other parts of the world has when it’s come to securing businesses. With no furlough scheme, some employers have been forced to reduce headcount and salaries to ensure survival during and after Covid-19. As the nation is made up largely of expats, many residents are making the decision to return home, and Oxford Economics estimates that the UAE could see 10% of residents leave its shores. However, with job losses and tanking economies an issue worldwide, those in stable industries may choose to stay on in Dubai rather than facing an uncertain future back home.


Some nations in the GCC are actively looking to reduce expatriate worker numbers, with Kuwait and Oman looking to fill a higher percentage of key positions with national candidates. As international flights resume and restrictions ease, we anticipate there will be more employment opportunities within the UAE, particularly within the healthcare, distribution and logistics and technology industries. E-commerce is thriving throughout the pandemic, so specialist skillsets in this area will be highly sought after.


 Oil and gas take a hit

We know that the commodities market has taken a considerable hit in 2020, not just with Covid-19 but with the oil price wars as well. Supply has outweighed demand and we saw storage facilities reach maximum capacity, resulting in a record low oil price that created significant disruption throughout the global industry. However, the past two months have seen the market recover somewhat, and there are predictions that the second half of the year will see oil prices rise back to $50. As lockdowns continue to be lifted around the world and the mobilisation of people and supplies resumes, we hope this sector continues to strengthen and more job opportunities will emerge.


Investment shows confidence

There are clear signs of opportunity and optimism in the UAE already. One such sign of confidence is the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company announcing a $20.7 billion energy infrastructure deal with global investors, operators and sovereign wealth and investment funds. It’s one of the largest global energy infrastructure transactions and is positive news for the UAE’s gas market – and indeed, clients and jobseekers. Emiratis are optimistic about an economic recovery, according to Mckinsey, and the relaxation of lockdown rules should speed this up. Dubai has maintained its position as among the top three destinations globally for greenfield foreign direct investment, thanks to its ease of doing business, location and security. This should help the city to recover economically, perhaps more quickly than other areas.


Flexibility into the future

Through this crisis we’ve seen many clients in Dubai and UAE implement remote working, reducing business travel as much as possible and placing projects on hold. We can expect to see some of this continue long into the future, particularly regarding employer flexibility, potentially creating more opportunities for workers who may not otherwise have been able to work full time in an office location.


As 22% of UAE employers say working from home has increased their business’ productivity, many organisations may introduce new remote and flexible working policies to allow employees to work from home on a permanent or part time basis. Unnecessary business travel will likely be reduced or eliminated entirely, with a focus on working – and hiring – locally. That’s not to say there won’t be opportunities for global workers to take up lucrative contracts in the UAE, however. For the right candidate, opportunities will remain.


Established in 2007, Swisslinx’s Dubai office is focused on banking and finance, oil and gas, and technology. We have a multilingual team of sector experts who are committed to matching the right candidates with the right roles, providing ongoing support before, during and after the recruitment process. View our latest UAE jobs or contact us to talk about how we can help you.

What does the future of recruitment look like?

The world of recruitment is constantly evolving and digitisation has completely transformed a wide range of sectors. With the emergence of new skills, tools and software, organisations in Switzerland will need to implement expert recruitment strategies to secure the best talent. Switzerland has enjoyed a strong economy in recent years and statistics have shown that the unemployment rate amounted to around 3.5% in 2020. However, the way businesses recruit and retain talent will continue to shape the workforce – and while it’s difficult to predict outright what the future holds for recruitment, businesses will need to adapt to the demands of a new age of technology. And since the recruitment market is becoming increasingly competitive, recruiters are going to need plan in advance to keep up with the most in-demand talent. So, here’s an overview of how recruiting will grow and change in the future.   Focus on machine learning   Machine learning and automation will likely have a huge impact on onboarding and recruitment. AI is rapidly changing every industry and its effect on recruitment is already being felt in a multitude of ways. For example, HR automation tools have accelerated in recent years. These tools can collect, gather and analyse data, which means recruiters can easily build candidate profiles and establish a clearer picture of potential hires much more quickly. In the future, there’s no question that automation tools will be used even more frequently. One of the biggest challenges for recruiters is finding the right professionals amid the noise. Therefore, it’s likely that companies will use more machine learning and automated software to help secure the best candidates, increasing efficiency and productivity as a result.   Personalised recruitment   Today, most candidates are much informed about the type of company they want to work for. In this context, recruiters need to build an engaging and efficient hiring process, because the new generation of candidates takes a much more personalised and strategic approach to their career. Therefore, in the future, businesses won’t be able to rely on job postings or sending generic templated messages to candidates on LinkedIn. With candidates today being much concerned with an employer’s brand, the future of recruitment will be much personalised. This means that during the recruitment process, businesses will need to give candidates regular feedback and updates. In this candidate-driven market, transparency and a personalised hiring process will be of strong value in the future.   New talent pools   Recruiters of the future should begin to explore new talent pools, which include candidates with varied roles and professionals from the gig economy. In the modern world of work, employees change jobs more regularly, opting for a varied career path and different workplace cultures. The benefits of hiring these types of candidates are that they’re often exceptionally well-rounded and highly adaptable. With the rise of remote working as a result of the pandemic, hiring contractors for short projects has become much more commonplace. There will be more opportunities for businesses to hire freelance workers as full-time employees, tapping into unique skills. Recruiters of the future will likely have access to an array of talent pools with candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds.   Get in touch with our team at Swisslinx   The future of recruitment looks bright, but is your business ready to adapt to the changes? At Swisslinx, we have a dedicated and friendly team of recruitment specialists. Our team has an outstanding track record of building quality relationships with clients and candidates. We constantly keep up-to-date with the latest trends in our specialist markets, including digital and technology, financial services and life sciences. If you would like to learn more about how we can help prepare your recruitment strategy for the future, please contact us today for more information.

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How a recruitment consultancy can add value in a new world

How a recruitment consultancy can add value in a new world The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how companies attract, recruit and retain new employees. Businesses around the globe have swiftly embraced remote working. While there are huge benefits of in-person meetings, it’s difficult to ignore that many businesses have thrived working remote. For recruitment consultancies in Switzerland, they’ve had to adapt to a new way of hiring. The recruitment industry has entered a new era defined by flexibility and the increasing use of technology. In a post-COVID world, recruitment consultants will be high in demand for their expertise, but the landscape has changed, paving the way for a range of challenges. So, how can recruiters continue to add value to clients and candidates? Dedicated, relevant expertise One of the major benefits of using a recruitment consultancy is that they provide staffing solutions for businesses across a range of different sectors, and they remain up-to-date with market trends, which includes recruiting during this challenging time. For example, at Swisslinx, we’re able to give our clients an overview of the market, helping them to plan their recruiting and ensure they only hire the best candidates. Right now, it’s all the more important that job specifications are in line with the market. Recruiters can provide consultancy around job specs, offer sector expertise and engage passive talent using platforms like LinkedIn. With businesses receiving a strong push into the world of virtual working, recruiters have been forced to provide their expertise virtually. This means recruitment consultancies, like Swisslinx, have been able to connect with people more efficiently and build strong and lasting relationships. Streamlined process There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated the rise of technology. With in-person contact limited, businesses will need to become more agile and innovate fast, to thrive in this competitive environment. However, the recruitment process can still be a long and daunting task for many businesses, despite the new tools available. One of the most desirable attributes of a recruitment consultancy is they can streamline the whole process, from CVs and interviews to talent community building. While the lack of in-person meetings with clients and candidates can be a challenge, video interviews can take place anywhere. In the future, there’s likely to be advanced recruitment tools to facilitate virtual meetings, so that all the information can be stored and analysed in one place. Hiring in a new world The current uncertainty around the employment landscape means that businesses will need to adopt a strategic mindset to attract the right type of candidates. One of the ways recruitment consultancies can add value in this area is by helping companies make their hiring much more targeted. Recruiting in a particular niche area has become essential in recent years, but with more candidates on the market, it’s much harder to find suitable candidates. At Swisslinx, we focus on recruitment markets such as financial services, technology, science and engineering across many sectors, which enables us to provide tailored solutions to our clients. There’s no doubt the future of recruitment will be more personalised and holistic and tailored to the specific needs of clients. Let Swisslinx help your business The pandemic has had a huge impact on the recruitment sector. At Swisslinx, we’ve always had a strong value proposition and an excellent track record of building excellent relationships with clients and candidates. As we progress through the year, our consultants will remain on hand to provide companies in Switzerland with the best recruitment expertise. Our team have years of experience in recruiting the most in-demand companies and we always take the time to understand the needs of every business. Contact us today if you need help finding the top candidates and take a further look at our insights page for more engaging articles.

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