Scaling businesses requires talented people – but ageing populations in long-established economic centres are creating recruitment problems worldwide.

Human resource has become one of the most pressing issues for companies anywhere, with management consulting company Korn Ferry predicting that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled, leading to USD 8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenue. The problem is especially severe for enterprises at the cutting edge of innovation that need the talent to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0.

The prognosis? Continued growth will be dependent on identifying and enabling the next generation of skilled workers. Companies should be on the look-out for global talent hubs in the most dynamic regions – and Abu Dhabi is proving to be just that.

Access global talent from Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is located in the heart of the UAE, with outstanding access to the country, the Middle East region and the global market. Hub71 is Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, designed to empower startups and scaleups with world-class opportunities and a community of likeminded stakeholders.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi offers strong business and lifestyle incentives, which attract talent from around the world. Hub71 companies can access housing, office space, health insurance and other incentives. Abu Dhabi ranks number one for ease of doing business in the Middle East and the most liveable city in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Flexible working is the most common business model, with many companies offering work-from-home possibilities.

Abu Dhabi is also fostering outstanding homegrown talent through world-leading educational institutions, including the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the first university in the world to offer research-based graduate-level training in artificial intelligence. Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa University is an internationally leading institution, with specialist areas including engineering and health sciences. New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) offers over 500 courses to students from over 120 different countries, and 42 Abu Dhabi is a specialist coding school.

Hub71 has recently formed partnerships with UAE University’s Science and Innovation Park and INSEAD Middle East Campus to nurture science and technological talent, to include innovation workshops, events and programmes, as well as recruitment and internship opportunities with Hub71 companies. The One Million Arab Coders programme has been developed by the UAE government, in partnership with learning platform Udacity, with the aim to train one million young students in computer programming.

These institutions are fostering a world-class talent pool on the ground in Abu Dhabi, which is available at the fingertips of companies based out of the Hub71.

The emirate is also well-placed to benefit from the booming workforce in the rest of the region. MENA is set apart from other markets in Europe and the US by its large and dynamic youth population. Home to 110 million people aged between 15 and 29, MENA hosts a new generation of workers. The overall population of the Middle East is also highly educated, with 70% having achieved at least secondary level qualifications. According to the Middle East Institute (MEI), the MENA workforce is expected to increase by 127 million workers in the next 10 years.

Tech talent in the UAE

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is ideally located to benefit from all the opportunities of an emerging global technology leader.

The UAE is led by a commitment to economic growth and future-ready transformation. The country is home to outstanding business-friendly regulation, tax-free salaries and government investments in innovative projects – all of which are making the UAE a global hotspot for tech professionals and entrepreneurs.

The UAE’s government is committed to attracting the best international talent to fuel the country’s ongoing economic growth. Its Strategy for Talent Attraction and Retention has three goals: to ensure the UAE places within the top 10 countries in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, ensure high availability of talent among strategic sectors, and develop the UAE’s status as an ideal place to live and work. This framework empowers the country to develop regulations that will attract global talent.

The government has launched its National Program for Coders, which offers 100,000 Golden Visas to talented people with IT skills. These 10-year visas enable people to live, work and study in the UAE, with 100% business ownership.

During the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE has proved itself as a resilient and adaptable economy. Global recruitment consultancy Robert Half has said that 73% of UAE companies have offered renumeration packages that meet or exceed pre-pandemic numbers, putting them in a good position to retain talent. The country also ranks as a leading country for gender equality in the Middle East, in terms of salary and taxation, according to the World Economic Forum.

For companies seeking to thrive in the future market, in which sourcing talent will be paramount, Abu Dhabi promises to be a uniquely empowering location.

To find out more about business opportunities in Hub71, download the whitepaper.