The Middle East is one of the world’s most exciting regions in terms of market development. The region’s countries are adopting a highly entrepreneurial mindset, which has resulted in large startup growth and investment. This, in turn, is making countries like UAE one of the biggest HR hubs in the world.
Research by Magnitt shows how annual investment in the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) startup scene is closing in on $1bn. In 2016, the money pumped in the industry quadrupled from 2015 – with the region’s total startup investment standing at $870m. A large proportion of the investment money is flowing to UAE, with Dubai-based startups faring extremely well.
The increasing investment has resulted in a start-up boom, which in turn has started developing the region’s other business sectors. If you think about successful startups, you can’t help but identify the importance of finding the right talent. When it comes to finding talent, the HR department is crucial.
Emerging as a top PR hub
A joint study by Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recognized UAE as the largest emerging PR hubs in the world. The study survived over 800 HR professionals from 27 countries across the GCC region, Europe, and Asia. The professionals shared their perspectives on the industry and in many different categories, UAE ranked close to the top.
The country did receive the top spot in terms of the top emerging HR hub, beating Singapore and Malaysia to the top spot. But the other findings also showed how important HR is to UAE and how respected the country’s efforts and excellence in the sector are across the world.
When it comes to potential networking opportunities, for example, UAE became second, losing out only to the United States. Naturally, the US has a much longer experience within the sector and in terms of being home to many of the biggest companies in the world. Similarly, UAE ranked third as the preferred destination for attending HR events.
Visit Innovation Enterprise's HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit in Chicago on October 30–31, 2018
The rise of a booming HR sector
The study’s findings point to a prosperous future, as long as the country is ready to take on the challenge of being a thought-leader in HR. According to the survey, HR organizations are eyeing on the country – it was chosen as the fourth best location to expand and the fourth easier location to operate from.
The industry is certainly responding to the call. According to the survey done by Bayzat, the startup scene within the HR sector itself is starting to boom. The HR software company is one of many innovative technology businesses looking to solve, not just UAE’s biggest HR challenges, but also those of the whole world. This is an exciting time for the sector – it’s position as the leading HR hub has not come out of the blue and it certainly doesn’t look like stopping.
Not only are HR professionals looking at UAE as a place to expand operations to, but the region’s entrepreneurs are also innovating new HR solutions. This means that the country is fertile ground for co-operation that could lead to the transformation of the HR industry.
What next for UAE’s HR industry?
The industry looks to be in good health but the country’s entrepreneurs and HR professionals cannot celebrate too early. For the country to take its place as a leading HR hub, it must continue on the road of investment and innovation.
HR is a tricky industry that’s facing plenty of challenges of its own. The impact of technology has been incredible and with the rise of machine learning and big data, the transformation doesn’t look like stopping now. But UAE’s HR industry has a set of unique issues to overcome. In another study, the country’s top HR professionals worried about the staff retention. While this is a problem everywhere, it’s especially challenging in the region due to the transient nature of the expatriate population.
For the country’s employers, this poses a problem of finding a balance between attracting and retaining staff with different benefit packages and keeping the company expenses in check. The good news is that this is another area where the country and its startups can innovate. By using effective HR management software solutions, companies can keep the cost of HR down, while also treating employees better and with more transparency.
The times for UAE’s HR sector are exciting. The country is being noticed by many of the world’s biggest HR professionals and it’s also creating HR solutions – the world of HR will likely continue to look toward UAE for leadership.