Well it’s official, we got our prediction for 2020 wrong! The term Covid-19 only appeared in and around the back-end of Q1 and its subsequent impact has been overwhelmingly the dominate story, and a once in a generation shock, to the economic climate and the way we perceive our lives.


In all candour, it’s very difficult to predict the market and recruitment trends as we move in to 2021. The only safe assumption is that any shock, on the scale of the Coronavirus pandemic, is extremely unlikely and there should be greater market stability as areas of certainty and clarity return to global markets and our adjustment to the new “normality” of life.


There is no doubting that the experience of 2020 has changed the world in many ways and we can only hope that certain positives will be derived from this disastrous pandemic. Sometimes it takes an unexpected event of this magnitude to create positive influence and change. A theme of our 2020 analysis and the Dubai EXPO project; linked extensively to the “green theme” and the ever-increasing reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Both were projected to contribute positively to the new engine of innovation and growth with greater sustainability and environmental benefits.


There is clear evidence that these areas will continue to be critical aspects of global economic development and regional diversity. The Covid pandemic will only sharpen the focus towards a cleaner and healthier environment and the pressing need to ensure that economic growth is more sustainable and aligned to any new-world-order and the urgent need for greener industrial development, manufacturing and service provision.


This pressing need for reform combined with the new power of AI, surely carves the way for the latest opportunity of economic and employment growth. In the shorter term, there will be winners and losers within the rapidly changing and “virtual” landscape that we can now live in during this Covid-era. Supply chain, e-commerce and mobile technology are examples of strong growth areas/sectors and undoubtedly the healthcare sector will continue to be invested within heavily both privately and publically. The world of AI will only become increasingly important; where this will ultimately take us is beyond the prediction of any Recruiter.


The UAE has been praised internationally for the way it has handled and responded to the global pandemic. Be it from a rapid testing system and roll-out or from the way that the government leadership has been clear, concise and supportive of all citizens, residents and businesses alike. The most recent example of this support and innovation has been the development of the Hope Consortium devised by Etihad Airways. This operation is designed to deliver up to 6 billion vaccine doses, under their Sky Cargo, and once more proves the UAE’s capability, reach and positioning as a leading and trusted logistics and healthcare hub.


The UAE continues to display these fundamental pillars and competitive advantages on a global level and its portrayal of stability, adaptability and strength has been magnified further during this challenging year.


EXPO 2020 will kick-off during the last quarter of 2021 and whilst the delay wasn’t always ideally, the event will take on more importance than before. The core objectives will remain but it should also be a celebration of how the mind-set of UAE, as an open and peaceful nation, can and should be a blueprint for other countries and potentially a good example of how the world needs to develop whilst showing compassion for the planet and all its inhabitants.


If these themes of 2020 are viewed with a passion for change and a mind-set to right-any-wrongs, then positives can evolve, seeding a stable recovery, more opportunity and prosperity for more.