Dubai was once heralded as the world’s moneymaking Mecca with thousands of Brits, including many IT professionals, flocking to this oasis in the desert, relishing in the absence of the tax burden back home.
So the recent economic turbulence has come as a bombshell sending shock waves around the world. Back in October the Financial Times reported that many expatriates were losing their jobs while property construction slowed to a standstill amid mounting debt and waning demand.
In the first half of 2009 Dubai was suffering along with the rest of the world, with the number of jobs fast decreasing. This continued until July/August when things slowly started to pick up.
Now, obviously recruiters are still cautious given that we have just witnessed one of the worst recessions since records began, it would be foolish not to be. But businesses are still winning new contracts and there are projects that still need to be finished. So if companies need IT professionals they are going to have to hire. And that’s what they are doing.
Although Dubai has felt the effects of the economic crisis it could be possible that the situation has been exaggerated in the media. Yet even if this is not an elaboration it seems the IT industry has not been hurt as badly as other sectors. Construction, property and even tourism industries are bearing the brunt of the recent economic unrest.
But despite the recent bailout by neighbouring Abu Dhabi, there have been plenty of positive predictions for 2010 across most industries both in Dubai and here at home. The Financial Times reported on Monday that economists are describing a very optimistic outlook for Dubai in 2010 with their financial reserves poised to help the region to continue to develop. And with the opening of the world’s tallest tower this week, re-named Burj Khalifa, following the financial rescue, it seems Dubai is keen to show the world it hasn’t lost its sparkle.