More job vacancies will be up for grabs in the UAE as companies look to strengthen their teams, but the majority of professionals in the country now prefer to work either in a hybrid or completely remote arrangement, according to a new report. 

The report by recruitment specialists Michael Page said that out of the 2,000 employees and job applicants polled, 66% are now looking for “part or full-time remote” jobs. Ideally, many respondents said they want to work from home two days a week. 

“Millions of employees found themselves working from home for the first time during COVID-19 pandemic – and our survey suggests that a majority would like to continue with this arrangement,” Michael Page said. 

“Well over half of respondents said they would like to work remotely either some or all of the time.” 

Nearly four in ten (36%) of respondents prefer to work three days at the office and two days at home, while nearly a third (27%) prefer working from home permanently. About 21% like the idea of spending just one day working from home. 

Strong hiring sentiment 

Hiring sentiment in the UAE has so far been strong, thanks to improved market confidence. Businesses are increasingly looking to hire candidates to fill executive or strategic roles. 

“Based on market confidence and… more aggressive growth and diversification plans, organisations have shifted up a gear and their appetite to invest in attracting top talent increased significantly,” said Jon Edie, Regional Director for UAE at Page Group. 

“We are seeing more proactive searches for executive and/ or strategic hires and we have also seen a significant return in foreign investments with businesses looking to expand their international footprint into the UAE,” Ede wrote in the report. 

The report, which includes salary benchmarking and hiring insights, covers several industries, including banking and financial services, property and construction, oil and gas, procurement and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing, as well as healthcare and life sciences. 

What job applicants want 

While they continue to favour hybrid or remote work arrangements, professionals in the UAE still place a high value on job stability. 

When asked what type of contract they are willing to consider for their next position, the majority (76%) said they would prefer a permanent position. A small number (27%) would be happy with any kind of role, while 19% said they would like a fixed-term or temporary contract. 

As for their ideal company size, 44% said they prefer working in a middle-sized firm, while 42% would be interested in working for large organisations. Only 9% said they would prefer to work for small businesses. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria )