Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn MENA and Emerging Markets in Europe and Africa.
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Medical, digital content, coaching, finance, top the hiring list in UAE, LinkedIn report

While the pandemic has affected hiring activity across different job categories over the past year, a new report from LinkedIn identifies jobs that have seen a rising demand in the UAE.

Specialised Medical Professionals, Digital Content Freelancers, Professional and Personal Coaches and Finance and General Business roles are among the jobs that have seen a spike in demand, according to analysis of LinkedIn’s over four million members in UAE. Here are the top 15 job categories driving the UAE job market:

Specialised Medical Professionals

This category saw 112% growth in hires, with Nurses and General Practitioners being in high demand across UAE. To tackle the virus, the UAE also launched a national volunteer campaign in April 2020 that registered more than 1,000 volunteers in just a few days. It is worth mentioning that the average age of those employed in 2020 was 31 and 41% of them had a master’s degree or higher education.

Digital Content Freelancers

To support the local economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE created new work permits for international freelancers. Additionally, the rise in online activity, the adoption of digital platforms across sectors, and changing consumer behaviour led to high demand for freelancers and a 200% increase in digital content-related jobs, with 25% of them being available remotely. Bloggers, YouTubers and Podcasters took advantage of these new opportunities, and started pushing their own content online. The average age for this job category was 29, slightly higher than other markets like Brazil and Spain where the average age was 25 and 26 respectively

Healthcare Supporting Staff

While nurses and doctors battled Covid-19 on the frontline, Healthcare Supporting Staff like Laboratory Assistants and Clinical Managers worked behind-the-scenes on PCR testing and vaccine development. Organisations like Group 42 led the vaccine clinical trials, and researchers at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center worked on a ground-breaking stem cell treatment in August 2020. All of this work and developments led to 129% rise in Healthcare Supporting Staff roles.


Although e-commerce has been steadily growing in UAE year-on-year, the Covid-19 pandemic made virtual stores the new normal for any small business looking to stay afloat. This explains why virtual store platforms like noon.com continue to grow the UAE’s e-commerce sector and attract new investors. The average age of those hired in e-commerce Coordinator and Online Specialist roles was 29, and 66% of them hold a bachelor’s degree.

Digital Marketing Specialists

With online usage increasing year on year, companies moved to capitalise on increased e-commerce activity, with a growth of 71% hired into Digital Marketing roles in 2020. Social media related roles showed some of the highest growth, which is understandable when you look at the social media usage by platform. This category saw one of the most balanced gender hiring, with 51:49 female to male ratio, and the vast majority were self-employed or freelancers.

Business Development and Sales

Whilst industries like travel, hospitality and retail were hit hard by the pandemic, industries like software and technology, enabling digital transformation, saw an upward trend in the region. This resulted in more salespeople being hired in the UAE to capitalise on this growth, contributing to a 74% growth in Business Development and Sales hires. One possible complementary factor to this growth was the UAE’s decision to allow foreign investors and entrepreneurs to set up businesses without involving local shareholders. It is also worth mentioning that 11% of the roles were remote.

Professional and Personal Coaches

Due to several roles being impacted across several industries, many of those affected adjusted their career paths to become personal and professional coaches which led to a 207% growth in these roles compared to 2019. 61% of these roles were filled by women, the majority of them being self-employed.

Creative Professionals

UAE is well-known for being a strong regional creative hub, with talent stemming from the Middle East and North Africa. To keep creative industries afloat during the pandemic, UAE offered grants and other forms of financial support. Our data shows that Freelance Writers and Video Producers were in high demand in 2020, with more companies looking to enhance their digital presence with high-quality content.

Education Roles

Education-related roles registered a 72% increase in 2020, with Teaching Assistants being in high demand at New York University Abu Dhabi and American University of Sharjah. 67% of those hired within this category were women with an average age of 27.

Language Services

This job category increased by 134% in 2020 compared to 2019, with Medical Interpreters and English Teachers amongst those that transitioned to a Translator role. It is worth noting that 56% of those hired as a Translator were female with an average age of 29.

General Business Roles

With many organisations having to adapt their business plans in order to keep up with fast-changing customer needs, it stands to reason that business-related roles soared in 2020. Many of these job openings were for top management positions, which explains why the average age of those hired was 37. Of all the roles hired, 53% held a master’s degree or higher, and 26% were female.


The UAE is fast becoming one of the global technology and innovation hubs, evidenced by the 61% growth of technology hires in 2020. Interestingly, a large proportion of Technology roles, for example Frontend Developer and Technical Director, were in a freelance or self-employed capacity. It’s also worth noting that 78% of total hires in 2020 were male with an average age of 30.

Specialised Engineering

Engineering is one of those pandemic-proof job categories that has shown a continued rise over the past few years. In 2020, Engineering roles grew by 72%. As a job category which tends to attract more males than females, it stands to reason that 86% of total hires in 2020 were men.

Finance Roles

With turbulence in the economy and uncertainty in financial markets, the expertise of financial professionals was highly sought after in 2020. This category has seen a 63% growth, with 41% of the roles being filled by women.

Online News and Journalism

At the start of the pandemic, the UAE decided to limit distribution of all print media to contain virus spread. However, the rapidly evolving situation surrounding Covid-19 saw a great appetite for related news and information, thereby increasing online media consumption and resulting in a 58% rise in hires for News and Journalism roles.

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn MENA and Emerging Markets in Europe and Africa.
Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn MENA and Emerging Markets in Europe and Africa.

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn MENA and Emerging Markets in Europe and Africa said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the way businesses operate and how people work, but it has also opened up opportunities in a number of sectors as businesses continue to adapt to the pandemic. Medical and Healthcare roles, Digital Content Freelancers, and finance and general business roles are particularly strong areas of growth, while we are also seeing a rise in e-commerce, digital marketing roles and professional coaching as jobseekers are leveraging their experience and expertise to move into new careers.

2021 will undoubtedly be a year of continued change, but companies will also continue to look for new ways to improve services, create fresh business opportunities and strengthen their talent pools, taking advantage of a greater diversity of skills and talent in the job market.”

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