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Pakistani skills are first choice for employment in UAE

Pakistani skills are first choice for employment in UAE

Abdullah Bin Zayed Group has exciting training and education for employment and career advancement
Interview with Dr Khusro Iqbal — Director Group Human Resources & Trainings for Abdulla Bin Zayed Investment Group (Dubai)

PAGE: Tell me something about yourself, please:

Dr Khusro Iqbal: As Director of Group Human Resources & Trainings for Abdulla Bin Zayed Investment Group (Dubai), I am currently tasked with overseeing HR systems, handling employee relations, ensuring compliance with regulations, managing budgets, assessing staffing needs, hiring employees, designing training programs, and developing compensation plans for Abdulla Bin Zayed Investment Group in UAE.

PAGE: Your views on the employment opportunities for the Pakistanis in the UAE?

Dr Khusro Iqbal: Over the past year, Asian nationals saw a 12% increase in their share of approaches by the UAE employers hiring, while Arab and Western expats saw declines of 8% and 10%, respectively. In Abdulla Bin Zayed Group, our hiring preference has been towards Asian expats, especially Pakistanis, as it gives us a balance between the right skill set and a salary expectation that fits our budget. Among expatriate professionals working in the UAE and holding the same job title, salaries paid to Pakistani nationals are on average 20 per cent lower than Arab nationals and 40 per cent lower than Western nationals. The gaps in expatriate salary expectations are influenced by the prevailing salaries in the candidates’ home countries.

Among nationalities commanding a significant share of the UAE hiring activity, Indian and Pakistani professionals have seen the biggest surge in interest from employers over the past year, followed by those from the Philippines and Sri Lanka. At the same time, the American, the Canadian and the Australian nationals all saw declines in hiring by the UAE employers. Approaches to the British nationals also declined but to a lesser extent, possibly due to the continued low value of the British currency following the Brexit referendum, making salary expectations of the British expats more affordable for the UAE employers.



PAGE: Your comments on the skill enhancement programs:

Dr Khusro Iqbal: Skill enhancement programs or training typically use a combination of cognitive behavior and problem solving approaches, both of which are used to strengthen any person’s positive skill development. Our group offers an exciting opportunity to our employees to learn with international impact, tackle in-country skills shortages and reduce occupational fatalities by bringing engineering-related skills and education to all. Our internships, management training programs and other in-house training are suitable for individuals seeking to gain employment through upskilling or furthering their career in their current employment. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to compete.

PAGE: What must the Pakistani job seekers do to meet the standards required?

Dr Khusro Iqbal: Those interested to work in the UAE must attain, a minimum of the following abilities:

  1. Team player. 49% of the surveyed UAE companies desired someone who would work well in a team as the most desired quality
  2. Bi-lingual communication skills
  3. Efficiency keadership skills
  4. English communication skills
  5. Ability to work under pressure
  6. Good negotiation skills
  7. Passion or ability to make a difference

PAGE: Your comments on the value of training for the employees?

Dr Khusro Iqbal: A training program allows to strengthen skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge. This helps reduce any weak links within the company who rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks.

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