Friday, March 26, 2010

Dubai (14): Pink Slip Dubai

On Tuesday night I went to the Pink Slip Dubai, a fairly recent addition to Dubai‘s scene. I knew the term from other cities but was a bit surprised to see this emerge in erstwhile boomtown. Pink Slip events are networking events for job seekers and is meant to bring employers in contact with potential employees. I went there to get a feel for the job market in Dubai as a proxy for the state of the whole economy.

Not surprisingly the slowdown in the economy was visible in the job market as well. The average job seeker at this event was probably out of a job for 8 - 9 months, sectors such as (hard hit) real estate and banking were still very slow and jobs hard to get whereas engineering, oil and gas and construction were picking up. One consultant who helps people set up companies told me that in 2007/2008 they were helping to set up 3 -4 companies per day... in 2009 this figure plummeted to zero, rebounding to about 1 per week currently. As one of the participants said: ,...there is improvement in the economy and job market but no momentum behind...“.

Interestingly, it seems that Abu Dhabi manages to poach employees from Dubai... or as one other participant put it succinctly: „... Dubai‘s pain is Abu Dhabi‘s gain...“.

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