The rejuvenated manufacturing sector and the continuously growing FMCG, retail and healthcare sectors have been significant drivers of growth in the demand for supply chain and procurement professionals. Multinational and regional companies investing in manufacturing plants, building materials and utilities infrastructure throughout the Middle East and Africa will be particularly strong sources of demand.
Since manufacturing and retail companies are always looking to achieve the best prices from suppliers, procurement professionals who understand bids, contracts, negotiation and tender management are particularly needed. Those with regional and local procurement experience in FMCG and industrial manufacturing have proven to be very popular hires recently because there is a requirement for professionals to understand the UAE and GCC market in order to optimise their supply chain operations. Distribution managers and supply and demand planners are also highly sought after. Similarly, increased investment in manufacturing and distribution operations has led to more of these roles arising in the UAE Free Trade Zones.
With billions of dollars’ worth of oil and gas investment projects cancelled, energy firms have been undertaking redundancies on an unprecedented scale. This has created a high-volume supply of GCC talent with distribution, procurement and supply chain expertise and means that employers are very particular about their requirements, looking to hire professionals that have direct industry expertise. There are those employers who still seek professionals to advise them on Western supply chain and distribution practices, however, the ability to speak and read Arabic, and to understand local culture, remain highly desirable attributes.
SALARY & COMPENSATION TRENDS
Salary increments in the supply chain and procurement community have increased between 3-5% across the board. The UAE and GCC show strong signs of growth and a desire not to let the changes in oil prices instil fear; we anticipate salaries will increase steadily in the coming year as the market picks up and both the government and private sector make significant investments to drive the economy.
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