UAE ranks top among next emerging HR hubs, but what position is it globally?
Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society, recently unveiled the findings of an in-depth market survey entitled ’Emerging HR Hubs – Regional Trends in Internationalisation and HR Mobility’.
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.
UAE cuts the mark with huge margin
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.
Best place to expand globally
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.
Establishing UAE as global HR hub
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai Knowledge Park, said:“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.”
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.
. 81% of respondents support the need for passing a competency-based exam to practise the HR profession. An overwhelming majority – 91% – 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.