Cooper Fitch Dubai


January 2, 2017

Current Trends in Retail recruitment in the UAE

What is actually happening with retail recruitment  in the UAE for 2017.


Without a return to buoyant oil prices in the UAE and in general weaker commodity prices, the retail jobs market has been very selective recruiting requirements.  Experts say, that it is essential for jobseekers to put an emphasis on what they bring to the organisation. The employers who are still hiring in the market are looking at attracting staff that are more productive. Most importantly now candidates’ experience is a crucial in hiring processes.

Current Trends in Retail recruitment in UAE
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai

“Educational qualifications aren’t enough anymore and it’s about how candidates can add value to a company," said David Jones, chief ­executive of think-tank The Talent Enterprise.

To attract more consumers, retailers are expected to “pay more attention to consumer satisfaction and loyalty” in 2017 compared to 2016 and 2015. In 2017 there was an estimated expectation that the UAE would see changing retailing strategies.

However, in reality 2016 has seen some challenges for the UAE retail market. According to retail consultancy, AT Kearney, this is due to the fact that margins are under pressure which is driven by lower oil prices and also a decline in Russian and Chinese tourists.

This hold up will continue in the short-term, as the drop in tourism from countries such as Russia and China this year continues to impact luxury retailers in particular. The last 6 months in the retail market has picked up which is a good sign for recruiters in the UAE. With regards to the market potential there is a huge space for retailers  as the luxury market is booming across the GCC region. Nevertheless, it has huge potential for 2017.

Analysts expect more discounting next year as well. “The continued expansion of the retail sector with more malls and shops adds to the competitive pressures for retailers which typically results on larger discounts in order to generate sales and retain market share but reduces margins,” said Colin Beaton, managing director of retail consultancy Limelight Creative Services. The expansion of retail outlets across the UAE has increase by 5.6 percent compared to 2015. According to an online survey, the national  expressed that there has been a slow down with recruitment in the retail industry.  

According to Arabian Business, the September 2016 MEI showed that retail was the only industry in the UAE to report growth in online job postings in September compared to the year-earlier period.

The latest reality of the retail industry in the GCC region//

After a period of years of rapid growth , with the region successfully positioned as a leading international retail destination, there has seen to be some slowing down across the region in comparison to previous years.

Kantar Retail stated that the retail market in the Middle East is expected to grow at 7.7 per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2015 and 2020 which is a downfall of 9.8 per cent CAGR between 2010 and 2015.

On the other hand, the GCC retail sector needs to re evaluate its digital strategy, assess short- and long-term opportunities, prioritise, prepare for challenges and regulations and tailor plans to region-specific demands.

For all retail sales jobs or recruitment please contact Samantha Davis at Cooper Fitch recruitment based in Dubai. Cooper Fitch has been recruiting sales professionals in the Middle East since 1997.


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