Bilingual communication the most demanded skill in the UAE this year – research

Monday 22 April 2019
Omar Tahboub, General Manager of
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Most UAE employers are demanding ‘good communication in English and Arabic’ as well as ‘being a team player’ as top skills for their hires this year, according to research by and YouGov.

“Hiring activities never stop across the region or on our job site,” said Omar Tahboub, General Manager of “Employers are making many job opportunities available on and they are revealing which qualifications are most useful so that job seekers can plan and upgrade their skills accordingly. At all time, we are available as the #1 hiring partner for 40,000+ companies, organizations, and governments, as well as the tool for job search and career planning for 36 million professionals.”

High Demand: Skills, Job Roles, and Academic Qualifications

When it comes to skill sets in the UAE, good communication skills in both the English and Arabic languages are highly sought after (51%), followed by being a team player (46%), having the ability to work under pressure (41%), and good leadership (41%).

Business management (34%) and engineering (28%) are the most sought-after academic qualifications amongst employers in the UAE, followed by commerce (25%), administrative qualifications (12%), IT (11%) and hospitality qualifications (8%).

For employers looking to hire in the UAE, more than a quarter state that they are looking for candidates with sales and marketing experience (36%), 32% are searching for those with managerial experience, while 28% want mid-level experience (3-7 years).

Jobs Ahead

In the UAE, English and Arabic are the most sought-after languages employers hire for in combination with other core skills like teamwork and leadership. In terms of in-demand jobs, UAE companies will be hiring junior and mid-career positions, with maximum requirement emerging for junior executive (40%). This is followed by senior executive (32%) and executive (31%). Several companies are also looking to fill top management positions, with 7% looking to hire C-Suite and managing director positions.

In the UAE, the greatest demand in the coming three months will be for ‘sales executives’ (38%), ‘sales managers’ (20%), ‘marketing managers’ (14%), ‘marketing executives’ (13%), and ‘customer care representatives’ (13%).

In terms of industries with the highest hiring potential to hire in the next three months, the reported industries are ‘HR’, ‘Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations’, and ‘Healthcare / Medical Services’.

Proactive hiring in the long-term

By highlighting the added advantage of learning and becoming proficient in a language, teamwork and other soft skills, candidates can demonstrate that they have gained abilities for real business needs: multitasking and perception. These are most useful in industries that are most likely to hire: ‘HR’ (84% are planning to hire), ‘Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations’ (75% are planning to hire), ‘Manufacturing’ (73% are planning to hire), and ‘Hospitality / Recreation’ (71% are planning to hire).

“Our research is a key indicator of the MENA region’s hiring activities. A higher probability for hiring with private sector multinational companies can be observed with most companies looking for good communication skills in Arabic and English as the top skill for potential candidates. In addition to providing an overview of current market trends, the findings will have practical significance job seekers and professionals making their short and long term plans,” said Kerry McLaren, Head of Omnibus MENA at YouGov.

*Data collected online from Jan 10, 2019 and Feb 25, 2019. Results are based on a sample of 1,107 respondents, 901 of whom were of working status, from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, and others.

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