Expo 2020 projected to bring job bonanza

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A top global forecasting agency is predicting over 277,000 more jobs will flood the country by 2021 if it wins the Expo 2020 bid, with most coming in the travel and tourism sector.
A report by Oxford Economics suggests 277,149 jobs will be created in the next eight years — with nine-tenths coming in the final three years as a result of the extra demand from the 25 million expected Expo visitors.

Suhail Masri, vice-president for sales at leading Middle East recruitment website, said while the number of projected created jobs sounded high, it was entirely feasible as the country’s economy bounced back.

“I don’t see any indications for any recession or any slowness (in the coming years), what I see is a positive trend with a high number of employers looking to hire.”

Masri said a January job index survey showed 67 per cent of UAE employers were looking to take on more staff this year.

“This high percentage actually shows the market’s recovered and is on its way to creating more jobs and becoming healthier.”

Masri said the industries of most growth in the country were oil and gas, banking and finance, airline and government services and travel and tourism.

Another recent Mena survey showed Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah ranked as the top three cities to live in the region, hesaid.

“This (popularity) will encourage travel and tourism and create more jobs and demand on the travel and tourism.”

And even if the city failed in its bid as Expo host, Masri said there would still be a big job boom in the country, with projects announced and under way that would spur recruitment activity.

“Dubai being the highest city ranked in quality of life (in the Mena survey of middle eastern cities), this again will encourage travel and tourism and have a direct impact on creating more projects, hotels and entertainment.”

Dubai is up against fellow candidates Sao Paulo in Brazil, Izmir in Turkey, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Ayutthaya in Thailand, with the winner to be announced in November after a vote by member states.

Out of the total created jobs, the Oxford Economics report estimates 40 per cent will be within the travel and tourism sector — with a phenomenal 60 jobs expected to be created for every one Expo 2020 employee, across the Middle East-North Africa region.

If the estimated 277,149 jobs did eventuate, Masri said there would be enough talented people, from here and around the globe, to fill these positions.

“More than 850,000 UAE nationals are registered on our jobsite, this means there are a good number of candidates in the market.”

Jobs likely to be on offer would be for managers and executives, as well as “semi-skilled and unskilled people”.

Reem Al Hashemi, managing director of the UAE’s Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, said the Expo would “leave a lasting legacy” in the country and region.

“Dubai Expo 2020 will spur significant employment, trade and investment opportunities for the entire (Middle East-North Africa-South Asia) region, leaving lasting economic impact.”

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce marketing director general Helal Saeed Al Marri said almost three quarters of the anticipated visitors would be from outside of the UAE.

“Tourism is a vital pillar of Dubai’s economy…the additional demand created by World Expo would provide real and exciting opportunities in employment (and) new attractions and incentives for the travel and tourism sector, not just for the UAE but for neighbouring countries in the region and beyond.”

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