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Dubai’s tech ecosystem faces talent gap, report finds

Integra Seven and Wamda release “State of Tech Talent in Dubai 2023” report

Integra Seven, a Dubai-based consulting agency, and Wamda, a leading entrepreneurship empowerment platform for the Middle East and North Africa, have released a report that explores the state of tech talent in Dubai. The report, titled “Tech Talent in Dubai 2023”, reveals the strategies used by tech companies to attract and retain talent, as well as offering insights into policy enhancements for the technology sector in the Emirate.

The report is based on a survey of 50 tech founders and executives, as well as interviews with key stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities facing Dubai’s tech ecosystem, as well as highlighting best practices from successful founders.

Demand for specialized tech talent exceeds supply

One of the key findings of the report is that demand for specialized tech talent in Dubai will likely exceed supply. According to the report, 90 per cent of tech companies have tech talent dispersed across multiple countries, with key markets for sourcing tech talent including: MENA, India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Turkey.

Dubai’s tech ecosystem faces talent gap, report finds

The report also identifies LinkedIn and employee referrals as the top recruitment channels, but notes that there is a concerning disparity between a candidate’s online profile and their actual skillsets. The report suggests that tech companies should invest more in assessing candidates’ technical abilities and cultural fit, as well as providing feedback and mentorship to potential hires.

Policy perspective and HR functions are critical

Another finding of the report is that tech entrepreneurs are generally satisfied with the policy perspective of Dubai, which offers various incentives and initiatives to support the technology sector. However, the report also points out some areas for improvement, such as easing visa regulations, facilitating access to capital, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders.

The report also emphasizes the importance of HR functions in scaling up technology businesses, with 24 per cent of founders’ time dedicated to talent-related matters. The report recommends that tech companies should adopt a strategic approach to HR management, focusing on employee engagement, retention, and development.

Report aims to foster sustainable development

The report concludes by highlighting the potential of Dubai’s tech ecosystem to become a regional and global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. The report also acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead, such as bridging the talent gap, enhancing the quality of education, and creating a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Natalia Sycheva, managing director of Integra Seven, said: “Dubai’s success as MENA’s top tech ecosystem stems from collaboration among policy makers, venture builders, and talent. Our report elevates this public-private effort, fostering sustainable development in the Emirate.”

Fadi Ghandour, chairman of Wamda, said: “The ‘State of Tech Talent in Dubai 2023’ report emerges at a pivotal moment in Dubai’s tech ecosystem development and provides stakeholders a well-researched insight into the dynamics of the opportunities, needs and challenges that face both talent and startups.”

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