Digital is a hot topic in the UAE in terms of digital transformation and social media. In 2016, 90% of all marketing roles required some level of digital marketing experience, with a further 54% of the organisations hiring a digital expert.
For the year ahead, we are forecasting that approximately one in every four organisations in the region will expand their teams, so overall a very positive picture for the digital industry.
Furthermore, over 70% of businesses are increasing their investment in digital marketing, thereby creating more jobs in the market. Currently within this industry, hiring managers want to improve their creative capability, meaning a high demand for candidates on the more creative side of digital.
The UAE had developed a good pool of highly skilled digital talent, but the demand is outstripping the supply of candidates. New candidates from the UK, Australia and the US are all required in order to ensure the UAE continues to be seen a digital hub, not just for the region, but as a true global player. The demand for Arabic speakers is particularly acute as government and other businesses based in the region have a strong preference for bilingual talent. The supply issue is not helped by the fact the talent requirements span both marketing agencies and organisations building their own in-house digital teams. In particular, there is a skills shortage across digital social media jobs, digital marketing managers and CX specialists at all levels.
SALARY & COMPENSATION TRENDS
Our digital marketing team predicts between 10-12% growth for the year ahead. With a significant demand for talent outstripping supply, we see extra pressure on employers closing out candidates in this highly dynamic space. Organisations who fail to pay good retention bonuses and provide interesting projects for highly creative candidates run the risk of losing their best talent. This, along with some large government-funded digital projects such as Smart City, could potentially prove very lucrative for top-tier talent in the digital market.
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