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Abu Dhabi among world's top destinations for work, report shows

Abu Dhabi among world's top destinations for work, report shows
5 May 2024 19:34

MAYS IBRAHEEM (ABU DHABI)

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have surged in popularity among job seekers, securing the third and fourth spots, respectively, as the most sought-after destinations for work in recent years, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The findings of the "Dream Destinations and Mobility Trends" report are based on surveys gauging the work preferences of 150,735 people in 188 countries from October through December 2023.

"Despite geopolitical challenges and emerging virtual mobility, moving abroad for work remains a dream for many workers. Younger people and people from countries with fast-growing populations are the most mobile," the report stated.

While London retained its positions as the most desirable city for work, followed by Amsterdam, the Middle Eastern hubs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai surpassed New York City in the rankings, highlighting the UAE's growing appeal for professionals seeking career opportunities.

Alongside classic European cities like Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Zurich, and Vienna, the list includes nine Asia-Pacific destinations, with Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney among the top ten.

What Makes People Want to Move?
BCG estimates that up to eight hundred million professionals around the world may be actively looking for jobs abroad.

"Although the past few years have been tumultuous, a growing (albeit slight) share of respondents are actively looking for jobs abroad".

The "actively mobile" talent cohort accounted for 23% of respondents in 2023, compared with 21% in prior years, according to the report, which shed light on the motivations behind job-related mobility.

Factors such as quality of job opportunities and career growth prospects were cited as primary reasons for relocation, especially among younger demographics and individuals from countries with burgeoning populations.

Interestingly, despite the allure of benefits and services offered by destination countries, such as social systems and healthcare, respondents prioritized professional and financial advancement over other considerations.

The report also found that workers relocating abroad anticipate employers to spearhead their relocation and onboarding efforts while fostering an inclusive, international work environment.

It pointed out that harnessing the potential of global talent and securing a significant competitive edge in "the fast-transforming world of work", governments and employers must formulate holistic strategies aimed at attracting, relocating, and seamlessly integrating foreign workers.

'Virtual Mobility'
The report observed a rising interest in "virtual mobility" influenced by the worldwide shift toward remote work during the pandemic.

It noted that 66% of the survey respondents said that they would consider working remotely for an employer located in a country different from the one they live in, compared with 57% during the "height" of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During the pandemic, people in less-developed economies, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, demonstrated the greatest interest in finding a virtual mobility opportunity.

In the years since, the regions with high interest in virtual mobility haven't changed much-except that interest has grown by 10% to 15% among job seekers in the East Asia and Pacific and South Asia regions," the report stated.

It added that virtual mobility is less attractive in the Middle East and South Asia, possibly because individuals there seek diverse social and cultural experiences. In 2023, the percentage of respondents in the Middle East and North Africa willing to work for a foreign employer with no local presence stood at 58%.

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