The Middle East’s vast employment landscape has shifted dramatically and frequently in recent years. Expectations, perceptions, and objectives have radically changed for job seekers and recruiters, turning the traditional approach to hiring talent on its head. This ripple effect was triggered by the evolution of employees’ priorities.
Analysis of a survey that we conducted last year, provides insight into what makes UAE employees happy at work. A total of 502 male and female respondents (175 nationals and 327 expatriates) aged 21-45 – with full-time jobs and living in the UAE – participated. The central finding is that, today, most employees in the UAE view their job as more than just a means of making a living. It also shows that nationals and expatriates have starkly different ‘critical must-haves’ at work.
For UAE nationals, the most important single element is job security, followed by employer reputation, company values, financial stability, and relationships with colleagues. UAE expats’ happiness depends mostly on the level of appreciation they receive for their work. Then comes work/life balance, relationships with colleagues/superiors, and leadership responsibilities.