Cooper Fitch estimates the GDP growth for the Emirates will be approximately 4 per cent in 2019. However, there is a consensus that it could be as high as 5-6%. With oil prices at an average of $71 per barrel in 2018, we are optimistic that oil prices will remain steady in 2019. However, we are not expecting any significant increase in salary ranges in 2019.

We predict an improvement in the employment market in 2019. In the previous years, the market saw a significant restructuring in organisations, particularly in the banking sector which affected employment rates and adversely influenced salary levels. We see more job stability in 2019 albeit there are more planned mergers, particularly with some Abu Dhabi based banks.

With the continual drive to the Emirates’ Vision 2021, we see the need for improvements in economic reforms. At the moment, oil contributes to around 35% of the UAE government revenues. As 2021 approaches, we see the Emirates focusing on human capital to support its diversification and generate better revenue. Also, as part of its vision, the introduction of VAT in 2018 has brought diversity to the country’s economic revenue streams and also encouraged transparency for businesses.

The biggest challenge faced by organisations in 2018 is the retention of their top performing teams and individuals. Jobs seekers have faced bigger challenges in the past as salaries have decreased; there has been a significant increase in the number of candidates available in the market. In the unfortunate event where someone loses their job, the period required to find a new vocation has become longer.

The previous years’ reduction in oil prices has caused companies to lose confidence in the market which in some cases has made them hesitant about making key hires. We have also noticed a reduction in the retail and luxury retail sectors in 2018. There is a lack of consumer confidence, but we expect improvements in both markets in 2019.


Source: cooper Fitch