Healthcare, Engineering and Banking Are Most Popular Industries Among UAE Job Seekers in 2021, Shows & YouGov Survey

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at

IT/ Internet/ E-commerce is expected to record the strongest growth next year in the UAE

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at

UAE:  The ‘Top Industries in the MENA 2021’ survey by, the Middle East’s #1 job site, and global online market research agency YouGov, was conducted to help professionals understand current satisfaction levels within certain industries and make an informed decision about their future. The survey revealed that 60% of the UAE residents are satisfied with their working hours, followed by work culture (52%) and work-life balance (51%).

Despite a challenging year, many industries in the UAE have introduced new career opportunities for job seekers. Most job seekers in 2021 are interested in working in Healthcare/ Medical (15%), Engineering/ Design (12%) and Banking/ Finance (9%).

Moreover, Government/ Civil Service (37%), Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals (20%) and IT/ Internet/ E-commerce (17%) are the three most attractive industries to work in when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance. 

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at says: “The job market is constantly evolving, and so are the needs of job seekers. In order to understand the factors influencing industry attractiveness, we conducted the ‘Top Industries in the MENA’ survey to determine how people identify, apply for and evaluate job opportunities across a range of industries. For recruiters, the data will help foster deeper engagement and higher application rates.”

Job security is another factor that is closely looked at by the UAE’s job seekers and working professionals. Survey respondents indicated that Government/ Civil Service (31%), followed by Military/ Defence/ Police (27%) and Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals (23%) are the top 3 industries when it comes to job security in the current economic scenario.

Banking/ Finance/ Accounting (22%) is perceived to hire the highest proportion of fresh graduates, followed by Government/ Civil Service (19%).

Moreover, Healthcare/ Medical Services (26%) and Banking/ Finance/ Accounting (25%) emerged as the most attractive industries to females. Government/ Civil Service (33%), followed by Military/ Defence/ Police (27%) are the top two industries in terms of attracting the highest proportion of local talents. Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals (29%) is considered to be the industry that offers the best career growth. This is followed by IT/ Internet/ E-commerce at 21%.

On the other hand and when asked to look ahead, IT/ Internet/ E-commerce (32%) is seen as the top industry that is expected to record the strongest growth next year in the UAE.

Another major finding of the survey is that 23% of UAE respondents have changed their industry at least once in the past two years. For those who have changed industries, better opportunities for career growth (46%), better salaries (43%), and lack of recognition (22%) are the top reasons for this change. 

Nearly 6 in 10 professionals in the UAE (56%) are considering an industry change in the next few months. Better salary (56%) is the top reason for considering an industry change, while better career growth follows at 51%.  Furthermore, Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals (11%) emerges as the most appealing industry amongst those who consider an industry change. 

Zafar Shah, Research Director, Data Services at YouGov MENA said: “Our latest survey has unearthed a whole host of invaluable insights into job seeker preferences and satisfaction levels with various industries, on attributes including salary and benefits, work-life balance, career growth, and job security. Industries across the region must ensure that they are responding to job seekers’ changing needs.”

Data for the Top Industries in the Middle East and North Africa 2021 survey was collected online from 14 to 29 June, 2021. Results are based on a sample of 2,333 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and others.

About is the leading job site in the Gulf and Middle East, connecting job seekers with employers looking to hire. Every day, thousands of new job vacancies are listed on the award-winning platform from the region’s top employers. The portal is used by over 40,000 global employers and has a database of over 42,000,000 professionals.