UAE Ranks Number One amongst Next Emerging HR Hubs in Market Research Study

Dubai Knowledge Park, Society for Human Resource Management unveil findings of market research study: ‘Emerging HR Hubs – Regional Trends in Internationalisation and HR Mobility’ 

UAE Ranks Number One amongst Next Emerging HR Hubs in Market Research Study

Dubai-UAE: 8 November, 2017 – Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society, unveiled the findings of an in-depth market survey entitled ’Emerging HR Hubs – Regional Trends in Internationalisation and HR Mobility’ at the HR Summit and Expo 2017 in Dubai.

Surveying HR professionals on their perception of the industry, the joint study aimed to identify global HR trends and emerging HR hubs, and gauge the expansion and risk appetites of HR organisations. The online survey collected responses from 835 employees of HR companies from 27 countries across Europe, the GCC region and Asia.

The research found that the UAE tops the list of emerging HR hubs by an overwhelming margin, outranking established markets such as Singapore and Malaysia. Meanwhile, the respondents consider the USA to be the unequivocal global leader in innovative HR practices, followed by the UK, Canada and Australia. In terms of emerging markets, the UAE is the prime contender, outweighing countries such as Singapore, India and Finland.

Another notable finding concerns the ease of setting up business. While the surveyed professionals have identified the USA as the easiest location to set up and operate an HR organisation, with Canada and the UK placing second and third respectively, the UAE ranks fourth – and first amongst emerging markets – ahead of Australia, Europe and Singapore.

The UAE also takes fourth place among the best locations for an HR organisation to expand internationally, outranking established HR hubs such as the USA and Australia, with Europe, Canada and the UK amongst the top three.

The survey has brought to light the importance of networking, with respondents selecting the USA as the top destination for potential networking opportunities in HR, with the UAE coming second, ahead of the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. The respondents also rank the UAE as the third most preferred destination for attending international HR events, followed once again by the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. In addition, the UAE was by far the favourite emerging market for a professional delegation tour, followed by China, India, South Africa and Malaysia.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai Knowledge Park, said: “We are pleased to unveil the findings of the market survey, conducted in collaboration with our partner SHRM, that demonstrate our commitment to HR excellence and validate our endeavours to establish the UAE as leading global HR hub.”

He added: “In an era where industry disruption is pervasive and businesses are constantly challenged to reinvent themselves, the HR function is a key enabler in attracting, developing and retaining quality human capital. HR professionals play a critical role in supporting business transformation with the appropriate structure, culture and capabilities whilst encouraging companies to adopt progressive people practices.

“In building on the success of our collaborative efforts to boost the HR sector in the UAE, we look forward to spearheading the next phase of the country’s human capital development journey.”

For his part, Brad Boyson, Executive Director of SHRM MENA, said: “A sustainable, knowledge-based economy cannot be created without world-class people practices. A profound takeaway from this survey is the degree of confidence that HR stakeholders from around the world have in the potential of the UAE to become not just a regional hub of HR excellence but a global leader in the field.”

Other key findings of the study include:

  • The number one factor that positions a market as an HR hub is the availability of qualified and skilled talent, supported by the presence of universities producing world-class graduates.
  • The surveyed HR professionals deem market stability, reputation of organisations and cultural diversity to be the second, third and fourth most important attributes of a thriving HR hub.
  • Eighty-one per cent of respondents support the need for passing a competency-based exam to practise the HR profession. An overwhelming majority – 91 per cent – feel that formal, ongoing professional development is crucial to maintain the right to work in HR.
  • Education and HR emerged as the most popular target industry for a professional delegation tour in an emerging market, followed by hospitality and tourism, and the healthcare/medical sector.

The launch of the findings was among the key highlights of the HR Summit and Expo 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Focusing on the latest HR trends, technologies and solutions, the event aims to provide inspiration, knowledge and connections to grow and transform businesses.

The ‘Emerging HR Hubs – Regional Trends in Internationalisation and HR Mobility’ study is available for download on the DKP website: www.dkp.ae

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