Rise in Arabic-Speaking Workforce as UAE Firms Expand Nearby

Recruitment experts have noted a significant surge in demand for Arabic speakers from companies in the UAE. Businesses are increasingly requesting recruitment agencies to find suitable candidates proficient in the Arabic language. This heightened demand is primarily driven by the expanding local economies across the GCC region, with Emirati-based companies venturing into neighboring countries. Notably, the success of the previous year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar serves as a prime example of the flourishing business landscape in the region.

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Rise in Demand for Arabic Speakers: Expanding Opportunities in the UAE"

Aisha Amarsi, senior manager at Hays recruitment agency, stated that the increased demand for Arabic speakers is attributed to the growing business activities in Arabic-speaking countries, with events like the FIFA World Cup in Qatar having a notable impact. Companies expanding into Saudi Arabia and engaging in local operations require individuals who can effectively represent their workforce and facilitate business transactions. This demand for Arabic speakers stems from the growth and expansion of UAE-based companies in those regions.

The Increasing Demand for Arabic Speakers in HR: Regional Companies' Preference and Local Talent Pool

The demand for Arabic speakers is particularly evident in the field of human resources, according to Ms. Amarsi. However, this demand is more likely to come from regional companies rather than multinational corporations. While fluency in Arabic has always been advantageous in the Arabic-speaking region, multinational companies may exhibit more flexibility in this regard. The preference for Arabic speakers among regional companies could be influenced by the fact that a significant proportion of employers in the region tend to recruit from within the local talent pool.

Economic Expansion in GCC Countries: Saudi Vision 2030 and Qatar's FIFA World Cup Success

The expansion of economies in GCC countries, apart from the UAE, is exemplified by the Saudi Vision 2030. This ambitious project aims to reduce the kingdom's unemployment rate and increase female participation in the workforce. Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product surpassed $1 trillion for the first time in 2022, with the economy experiencing a growth rate of approximately 9 percent. Similarly, Qatar's economy has witnessed substantial growth, largely attributed to the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup. The event contributed to an estimated 8 percent growth in Qatar's economy during the last quarter of the previous year.

The Growing Importance of Arabic Speakers in the HR Sector: A Shift towards Arabization

David Mackenzie, group managing director of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones, highlighted the current emphasis on Arabization in the human resources sector within the region. Many companies express their preference to hire Arabic speakers for various roles. Factors such as the impact of the pandemic, which prompted the return of many expatriates, and the cost-saving measure of replacing expensive expats with local talent have contributed to this trend. Hiring Arabic speakers, especially in the HR sector, offers clear advantages, particularly in terms of internal communication and stakeholder engagement.

Impact of Emiratisation on Demand for Arabic Speakers in the UAE

The Emiratisation drive in the UAE has also played a significant role in the increased demand for Arabic speakers. The government has implemented quotas that require companies to ensure a certain percentage of positions are filled by Emiratis. These quotas have influenced the shift in demand toward national talent. However, the need for Arabic speakers can vary depending on the market and the specific clients a company serves. While English remains the predominant language for business in Qatar and Bahrain, the language preference may differ in Saudi Arabia. Ultimately, the language requirements depend on individual companies and their target markets.

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