Middle East Going Crazy For UK Marketing Talent

Written by: Simon Lewis
Published on: 19 Jun 2012

Focus on the rise of marketing jobs in Dubai


During a recent holiday to sun-soaked Dubai I took some time out from teaching the kids to swim to meet a couple of marketing recruiters (thanks to Kate from Fabric and Abbie from Carter Murray) who have each spent a couple of years ‘living the dream’.

I was curious to find out how far the Middle East (with Dubai and, increasingly, it’s neighbour, Abu Dhabi, it’s fulcrum) had progressed within the generic marketing/media sector and the potential job opportunities for UK professionals.  What could such an opulent yet apparently intolerant country offer us Brits?

The answer, it would seem, is LOTS.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (EAU) is, in spite of relatively recent economic unrest, experiencing a period of sustained growth.  Buildings are going up again and, often a telling sign of recovery, rental and purchase prices are increasing.

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Entertainment & Media (E&M) market in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region has the highest growth compared to global markets.   The MENA E&M market is forecasted to grow in the next 5 years at a 16.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).  Compare this with the 3.1% forecast for the UK over the same period, and you begin to see why an increasing number of Brits are bidding farewell to Blighty.

And the opportunities are real.  As I write the most populated jobs area on the Gulf Corporation Council’s (GCC) largest generic job board is marketing, advertising & PR.

The lack of decent local talent across the UAE is, I’m many instances, preventing the overt ambition from being met.  Partially through a lack of awareness (social media, particularly LinkedIn, is still embryonic) but also through governmental control (there is very little outdoor advertising), Dubai has a lot of growing up to do.  Digital is behind the UK, although mobile marketing is hugely prevalent and 100s of ad agencies have taken root in the Media City district.  Disciplines such as events, product, project management, channel marketing and business development are prominent, with traditional marketing vacancies also holding strong.

I’ll stop short of turning this piece into tourist board propaganda, sufficing you instead with the thought that Dubai is a remarkable place, so different from the transient image often attributed to it.  Whilst the all-year sunshine is clearly attractive, it’s the metaphorical impression this leaves on the increasing jobs sector that makes it so appealing for UK marketing professionals.

If you’re interested in jobs in Dubai or other countries within the Middle East and GCC check out the OnlyMarketingJobs.com website



Carter Murray