Job vacancies to rise in Dubai: New companies enter, existing ones expand

Job opportunities in Dubai are set to rise, as corporate occupier activity remains buoyant this year, according to a new report.

“What we are now experiencing is a rejuvenation of the traditional organisational life-cycle in Dubai, which had been disrupted following the 2008/09 downturn,” Cluttons said in its annual ‘2014 UAE Property Report’.

“At one end of the spectrum, we are recording a sharp upturn in the number of small- and medium-enterprises that are entering the market and going through the motions of establishing themselves.

“At the other end of the spectrum, we continue to record a number of more established organisations that are now experiencing a growth spurt, many of whom are in the market for larger premises,” the report added.

Both groups are benefiting from increased business activity, which has been catalysed by the strength of the economic recovery, which Cluttons expects to persist this year. 

In general, new occupiers are in the market for between 1,000 square feet and 3,000 square feet of space, while a number of existing businesses continue to seek out larger floor plates as they expand.

“We have seen an increased number of international corporate occupiers requiring additional space due to enhanced performance or consolidation.

“For many occupiers who have not been able to expand in their current locations this has meant relocation.

“Separately, the gradual turn around in the office market’s performance has also caught the attention of institutional investors, with a rise in the number of high profile deals being recorded across the city during the first half,” the real estate consultancy said.

According to Cluttons, a relatively stagnant Grade A supply pipeline pushed rentals up by 4.5 per cent during the first half of 2014.

But, Grade A rents, which stand at Dh230 per square feet on average, are still almost 50 per cent lower their Q3 2008 peak.

Dubai is the host city for Expo 2020, which will be held from October 2020 to April 2021.

In the run-up to the event, nearly 277,000 new jobs will be created.

The International Monetary Fund expects a GDP growth of 4.4 per cent this year compared to 4.8 per cent growth achieved in 2013.

Despite this marginal slowdown, all sectors of the economy continue to exhibit moderate to strong levels of activity.

The latest HSBC Purchasing Manager’s Index showed that the UAE’s economy activity remained close to a record high rate of expansion during July with companies rushing to ramp up production by setting in motion plans to recruit new staff rapidly.

Recruitment portal said on Sunday that the number of jobs posted online in the UAE rose by 26 per cent in August compared to the same period a year ago and the UAE is “the primary growth stimulator” in the Middle East employment market.

Cluttons expects further headline deals over the remainder of the year, as overall occupier activity continues to gather pace.

It believes “good value” opportunities will be “snapped up rapidly”.

“This, coupled with high occupancy levels in desirable towers and free zones, is in turn anticipated to drive rents up at a higher rate than capital values.

“This will inevitably deliver higher gross yields, while boosting the overall investment appeal of some submarkets,” it added.