Expo 2020: More jobs, better salaries for me

02 December 2013
Now that the verdict is out and Dubai will proudly host the Expo 2020, employees in office corridors in the city are already talking about pay hikes and more job opportunities coming their way.

"We are very happy," said an employee working in a public sector entity. "We hope for a pay hike this year. There is no intimation but I don't know why everybody is talking about bonuses," he said to Emirates 24|7 without wishing to be named.

The mood is upbeat and employees, whether in public or private sector, believe the job market is poised to move up. And, they have enough reasons to believe this.

As Dubai prepares to host the Expo, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. It may seem a long time from now but considering the work that needs to be completed, it will be a hectic time ahead. "Ladies and gentlemen 2020 is just around the corner," as Reem Al Hashemi, the minister of state and managing director of the Dubai World Expo 2020 said yesterday.

The Expo will have a trickle-down effect on nearly all sectors. Construction sector will benefit immensely as the Expo venue needs to be ready to host the event and the infrastructure development that is again happening across the city will have to be all in place. This will lead to a huge spike in demand for professionals and employees across all levels in construction.

Next in line to benefit will be tourism and hospitality as Dubai prepares to play the host to the millions of visitors who will visit the city. The event will attract more than 25 million visitors to Dubai between October 2020 and April 2021, said Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) director general HE Helal Almarri.

"To meet the needs of this tourist boom - 70 per cent of which will come from outside of the UAE - DTCM expects to have to double Dubai's hotel inventory to around 164,000 hotel and hotel apartment rooms within the next seven years," he was quoted as saying.

And, airlines that will ferry these passengers can expect a big shot in the arm. Preparations are already well under way as the aviation authorities are gearing up for expanding and upgrading existing air infrastructure to accommodate the influx of millions of international visitors who will come with hosting Expo 2020.

Over 17.5 million people are expected to come to visit Expo 2020 in Dubai, or up to 300,000 every day. And, add to that, exhibitors from more than 180 nations. This also brings to mind the number of pavilions that will have to be built for various countries participating - just adding to the numbers.

Other sectors that will benefit from this win include engineering and transportation, retail and logistics. As there will be more demand for funds, financial services will of course work overtime as well.

Hosting the Expo 2020 will definitely transform the economic landscape for Dubai. More than 275,000 jobs are expected to be created and it gives enough reason to people working in the city to cheer.

It will all be a ripple effect, say headhunters. The Expo 2020 will lead to new job openings, which will result in an increase in demand for professionals and ultimately lead to pay hikes.

A number of recruitment experts believe that residents of Dubai and the entire UAE are likely to see their personal finances improve.

"I believe Expo 2020 will bring significant changes in the market. With increased demand, it is highly possible that salaries will also be affected upwards," Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at international recruitment firm Stanton Chase recently told Emirates 24|7.

But, it will be a wait-and-watch situation for many companies and immediate revision in salaries is not expected.

"We really need to wait and see. The impact might not be immediate, or it might be better monitored (compared to the previous growth cycles in Dubai). Besides, there is high supply of people as well, so competition is quite strong and the companies might still be able to negotiate on the level of the salaries but, overall, changes are expected," adds Sakellariou of Stanton Chase.

But, now that the verdict is out, employees just want to believe in one thing - they expect their salaries to go up and many look forward to a bonus too - as they discuss the big victory next to the coffee machines or in office corridors.

© Emirates 24|7 2013


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