The Best Talent Are Flocking To Emerging Markets

4 min readJan 29, 2020

2020 Hiring Trends in the MENA Region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been famously known for its oil and gas economy. The natural resources wealth trickled down to a young, vibrant, growing, and well-educated population that can significantly increase the region’s future growth. The potential of this large workforce to contribute to the economic growth and social dynamism of the region is tremendous, provided the region’s labor market are prepared.

With the instability and fluctuating prices of oil over the last few years, not to mention this decade forecasting the larger population adopting electric vehicles and other sustainable alternatives; the region has been prompted to focus on a new digital economy.

There’s a global competition for the best talent in the below fields. In a time where people have options (all over the world), companies have to do more to compete: Remote work, shorter work days/weeks, other perks.

Here are the most in demand talent for the MENA region (and pretty much emerging markets in general):

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Engineers

The labor market in a number of countries in the MENA region has displayed an increasing job trend for AI/ML skills, not to mention every company using us for hiring in the region. As of right now, about 60% of roles that I’m filling throughout the region are for data scientists. Abu Dhabi opened the first Artificial Intelligence University, the government in Dubai and Riyadh have 100s of initiatives for using AI within every department to increase efficiency and growth.

  • Software Developer / Software Engineer

There are currently a lot of skilled software developers within the region mostly seen in Egypt, Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, however the demand is high everywhere. The bonus is that most of these engineers are already working remote, and the companies are willing to hire full-time remote.

Companies are offering special perks for top software engineers in the world. Are you a Silicon Valley software developer that built out some cool projects? Companies are willing to offer flexible options on your terms, good pay, health benefits, and more.

  • Architects and Engineers

Undeniably, a lot of countries in the MENA region have mega structures that can never go unnoticed. This construction/building boom in the region has provided lucrative job opportunities for thousands of professional architects and engineers whose experiences are highly sought after. Especially as Dubai continuously grows and plans towards the “Dubai Expo 2020”.

STEM fields keep showing up in these trends and the amount of new tech plus large infrastructure to meet new laws and increasing populations, makes these types of engineers a big demand all over the region particularly in UAE, KSA, Qatar, and Oman.

  • Mobile Developers

With a huge amount of funding in the region given to apps or tech with mobile apps (consumer brands and goods), including large government entities and banks launch very sophisticated mobile tools, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest demands and a good chunk of demand in our product is for iOS and Android developers.

  • Science Related Fields (Doctors, Researchers)

With the growing population, comes a growing demand for healthcare practitioners. Doctors seem to be a big one on the list as requested from us.

Another big demand in the region as we shift out of this oil & has economy, are scientific researchers, including biologists and cancer researchers to name a few. Universities throughout the region have large research centers and as we strive to be at the forefront of innovative technologies, scientific research is crucial. There’s also been a large amount of tech funding poured specifically into health tech, which of course, requires this talent.

Everyday you can read a new article about new initiatives being launched all over the region: UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt… basically everywhere in the region.

Laws are changing along with infrastructure, new initiatives, and new funds that can pour money into companies that will help grow the region into a tech economy. Right now is the time if you want to work on cool projects, see your projects grow at scale quickly, and disrupt entire industries, this is the decade to make your move. You have options with flexibility and remote and still be a part of something groundbreaking.




Walzay is a marketplace for companies around the world to find pre-vetted tech talent.