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When in search for greener pastures, professionals in the UAE tend to look towards industries that are believed to be stable and offer good compensation and benefits packages.
The latest Bayt.com report, ''Career Aspirations in the Middle East and North Africa,'' which looks into the challenges and aspirations of Middle East and North Africa professionals, identifies at least eight sectors that are popular among the residents in the region today.
The majority of the respondents, 11 per cent, said they prefer to work in the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector. The UAE's hotels, restaurants, resorts and similar establishments emerged as the second highly sought after, with eight per cent of the residents saying they prefer to work in the tourism or hospitality sector.
Also popular are the construction, advertising/marketing/public relations and banking/finance, which are the ideal choice for seven per cent of the respondents.
At the bottom of the list are education/academia and information technology industries, attracting the votes of 5 per cent of the surveyed professionals in the UAE.
Apparently, it is the attractive compensation package that is luring a number of job seekers to seek employment opportunities in the oil and gas industry. About eight out of 10 (86 per cent) of professionals in the UAE said that salary and benefits are an important consideration when looking for an ideal job.
''We learned that a majority of professionals in the Middle East (54 per cent) believe that oil, gas and petrochemicals companies offer the best salary packages for their employees with 31 per cent of professionals believing that employees in this sector enjoy the best work-life balance as well,'' Suhail Masri, vice president of sales at Bayt.com, told Gulf News.
Despite the ongoing diversification efforts, the UAE still sources a good portion of its revenues from the oil and gas industry. According to a recent Coface report, oil accounted for almost 80 per cent of the budget revenues in 2013.
About 3.5 per cent of the global crude oil is produced by the UAE, which represents seven per cent of the proven reserves, ranked seventh in the world and fourth within the members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
With the recent decline in oil prices, however, questions arise as to whether or not the oil and gas sector will remain a lucrative industry for career professionals.
Masri, however, assured that recruitment activity in the oil and gas sector remains ''relatively robust.'' ''Our job posting and search activity remains relatively robust and quite similar to levels at this same time last year, suggesting consolidation and turnover, if not growth.''
As of 2013, the travel and tourism industry contributed Dh56.5 billion, or 4 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, to the economy. The figure is expected to grow to Dh59 billion in 2014.
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Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, gulfnews.com