Middle East a Hub of IT Contractor Roles as Governments Go Digital
- IT contractor roles in the Middle East on the rise following peak number of vacancies in Q1 2016
- UAE biggest hub of IT roles as government gets set to go digital by 2017
- Limited local expertise is creating job opportunities for overseas IT specialists
Our recent research into recruitment trends in the Middle East shows that the number of the number of IT contractor roles increased significantly during the first quarter of 2016, with industry specialists particularly in demand.
The figures highlight that The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hiring the largest number of IT contractors in the region, more than twice as many as Saudi Arabia and Qatar put together. Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of the roles available in the three countries are for industry specialists, 14 per cent are for project managers and one-in-ten (11 per cent) are for engineers.
While Saudi Arabia has the largest IT market in the Middle East, UAE is catching up fast as it seeks to become a technology hub for the region. This means we are seeing growth in both the public and private sectors and significant demand for the kind of specialist expertise that experienced consultants can offer.
The UAE IT market is currently worth $4.5 billion. However, with many government services set to go digital by 2017 and a focus on overcoming cyber security issues, this figure is expected to rise along with demand for skilled IT consultants. One of the sector’s largest employers in the region, Oracle, is set to hire 250 cloud IT professionals to support a number of projects in the UAE, including the development of a new data centre in Abu Dhabi.
In Saudi Arabia, the government’s recently launched National Transformation Programme highlights IT as one of the sectors the country is focusing on as it seeks to diversify its economy. By 2030, Saudi Arabia plans to double the contribution of the IT sector to its gross domestic product and will be developing a number of data centres and IT parks, most notably within the King Abdullah Economic City.
Qatar, which has the fastest growing IT market in the region, is also planning a move from an oil and gas to a knowledge-based economy. This has created demand for IT services from small and medium sized enterprises and will see the planned extension of Qatar’s fibre optic network to increase the penetration of broadband to 95 per cent. Many of the major IT companies have recently set up new Qatar offices in anticipation of this growth and the need for resources.
Countries across the Middle East are actively reducing their dependence on oil by investing heavily in growth sectors such as IT. There are some exciting and rewarding opportunities available for experienced overseas contractors in countries with limited local expertise. Consequently, we are seeing a particular demand for IT industry specialists with over 100 positions available in the UAE alone in the last three months.
If you are interested in IT roles in the Middle East or have a requirement for IT project support please contact us today.
Procorre also works in a variety of sectors requiring specialist contractors including energy and construction.
Research conducted during February and April 2016 by The Business Research Company on behalf of Procorre.