Lessons in openness: Why is the UAE a preferred place to work for foreign nationals?

Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum


Talk of countries built on the foundations of tolerance, diversity, and openness, and the UAE is undoubtedly one of the first countries on the list. No discussion on exemplary nations of the present times is complete without a mention of this relatively younger nation.

So how did this happen? Till the early 1970s, the UAE didn’t exist as a country – there were little or no roads, the sandy shores were quiet with very little trade activity, no skyscrapers stretched to kiss the skylines and narrate the tales of unwavering faith and relentless hard work. So what happened on that way, that within mere 50 years of its formation, the country became an epitome of all things prosperity, grandiose, and innovation?

The answer lies in the foundations! The values of empathy and open-mindedness, were seeded into every strategy that the UAE opted for since its inception, in every move our leaders made, and in every progress this nation took a step towards, and collectively these values yielded positive and apparent results in the longer run.

Ever since its formation, the UAE has been able to attract talented individuals from all across the world, who have happily called the country their home and whole-heartedly joined the Emiratis in building a country that today stands proud and strong as a ‘case in point’ for the entire world – an inspiration in real time to look up to.

The recent report by Boston Consulting Group and Bayt.com, which has ranked the UAE 13th, six places up from last year, in a global ranking as the most preferred place of work for foreign nationals, is a testimonial to the aforesaid fact.

Photo: Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Titled “Decoding Global Talent, Onsite and Virtual”  the study highlights some interesting trends. The UAE continues to emerge as a preferred destination, where foreign nationals would like to work, with the country’s global attractiveness reaching 13th place in 2020.

The fact that the UAE emerged as one of the countries that managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 more effectively and put in place the required safety and sanitation measures much quicker than many other countries of the world, made it a preferred choice for thousands of people who wanted safer environment to move and work from.

The ranking comes at a time when the UAE is in 50th year of its existence as a nation and looking to welcome even more foreign nationals as part of the Expo 2020. The trend is only poised to strengthen further and see more of the world coming to the UAE and with the right leadership, right preparedness, and the right attitude towards people and their potential – we say – why not?

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