Just this week I read the headline – “Qatar Infrastructure Spending to reach $150Bn”. If you are a regular subscriber to the various daily / weekly newsletters available in the Middle East like myself, you will be very familiar with these types of headlines. They appear on a regular basis.
Whilst reading these reports gives me a warm feeling inside that our core market continues to invest in construction, they often don’t tell me or jobseekers anything useful specifically relating to job vacancies.
We know that the Middle East has at least 10 years of heavy construction ahead of it due to its commitments to events such as the 2022 World Cup. However if you have been a candidate looking for work in Qatar recently, you may be scratching your head at your lack of options and wondering why you are finding it hard to find your ideal job in a country with such huge investment figures being bandied around.
Well the truth is that these figures mentioned in this report and similar reports are often ‘planned’ amounts of spending. There is often no real guidance in such reports as to a timeline of when this investment will translate in to jobs.
I attended a recent webinar that contained some of the leading names in construction and was hosted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the issue of when Qatar specifically will peak was discussed. The general consensus in the room was that the Qatar construction market would peak in terms of employment of construction staff between 2016 & 2017.
This to me is a sensible estimate but like any date for anything in the Middle East, needs to be treated as a target date rather than a certainty. The one driving factor that will keep things on track is that Qatar is working towards a specific event in 2022 means that construction work cannot be delayed for too long if Qatar is going to deliver on its promises to FIFA.
The consensus was also that we are at the start of an upward trend between now and the peak of construction, meaning we are all hoping to see continued growth in Qatar going into next year, hopefully at an ever faster pace. In some ways, I’ve seen evidence of this already over the past couple of months with more jobs becoming available in Qatar and candidates having more interviews with multiple construction companies at any one time.
As we near the end of another year and look towards the future in Qatar, we can see that attractive employment opportunities are only likely to increase in Qatar in 2014. Qatar has been busier than its neighbour the UAE for employing construction staff in 2013 but both locations are set to grow fast moving forward.
With the UAE market also improving, I foresee a tussle for the best staff between the two countries going forward. This could be good news for employees seeking work or looking for better salary or career prospects as demand outweighs supply.
If you’re a professional who likes to plan your career and goals, you may just want to consider planning a period of well-paid employment in Qatar in the near future. You could find it both rewarding and financially attractive.
Senior Recruitment Consultant
Middle East Region