Companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are increasingly hiring freelancers for various roles, as they move to more agile and flexible workforce models, according to a report.

The report from recruitment specialists Outsized noted that the region, which is diversifying its revenue streams, now has one of the fastest-growing freelance economies, with freelancer registrations surging by 142% in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The surge in demand is seen in various sectors, including IT, banking, finance, real estate, construction, energy and hospitality.

“The MENA region… is witnessing a remarkable increase in freelance talent demand, diverging from the global downturn in the US and Europe,” Outsized said.

“Leading companies in the MENA, APAC and Africa are now actively implementing agile workforce models to swiftly adapt to market fluctuations and unforeseen challenges.”

It said that unlike in other markets, the type of workers being sought after in the region are quite diverse, due to an influx of major projects like NEOM in Saudi Arabia and open immigration policies from countries like the UAE.

“Unlike the global trend where technology and data analysis dominate, the MENA region shows a broader scope, including finance, risk and areas like product and proposition, sales, marketing and change management.”

“In 2024, new macro trends such as environmental social governance and sustainability, data analytics and procurement are expected to rise in importance, which will further accelerate demand for local and international skilled independent talent.”

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)