As we move in to the year of Dubai EXPO 2020, the upturn across various sectors will certainly be apparent, linked to hiring activity and market sentiment. Whilst the headwinds, impacting the last couple of years, haven’t been reversed, the upsides will be more apparent in 2020 compared with recent times. There is a projected market confidence that will see a positive impact, across the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors; which will filter down providing an increased demand for operational and delivery-based jobs within a range of disciplines.

Whilst many of us think about EXPO 2020 as a 6 month event; the themes and legacy will run much deeper. In many ways, this legacy can create the next upward cycle in the Dubai job market, as the concept of technology innovation and sustainability entice further inward investment and company start-ups. There is a sense that EXPO 2020, could and should, be a catalyst for a new wave of business focus towards environmentally friendly initiatives, which combined with the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), is the newer and more efficient engine of growth.

At a time when Saudi Aramco went to Initial Public Offering (IPO); is this the starting point for when the region starts to pin future investments, outlook and ideologies upon a new pool of resource? With the continued diversification of regional economies and the global necessity for a greener planet, this undoubtedly, represents a great chance for a new wave of “greener growth” away from the reliance upon the fossil fuel industry and all its subsidiaries. To go full circle, EXPO 2020 was awarded with sustainability at the core of its mission. This creates a massive opportunity for job creation, to meet the challenge of climate change with new technologies, commercial ideas and centres of excellence. This aligns perfectly to how Dubai has always been a hub for creative capitalism.

Returning to the more traditional view, there will however, continue to be various challenges to the market outlook. The ongoing trade dispute, between the US & China, remains a global impact which the UAE and regional economies will not be immune from. However, we enter 2020, with a renewed hope for stronger GCC unity, to assist with diplomatic efforts to quell ongoing tensions with Iran. Also and ultimately, the year ahead should see a ratification of the prolonged Brexit scenario, allowing for improved stability factors and economic confidence across the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Each of these points, in their own way, have contributed and impacted the UAE and the regional economic context. The relevance of the “3 Ts” (Travel, Tourism & Trade) are as important as ever, to create a buoyant economic climate within the UAE, especially for Dubai as the country’s commercial hub. As the Emirate looks to entice twenty million visitors for the EXPO event, any improved sentiment and growth within these market sectors, will certainly be welcomed for revised upwards growth.

There are plenty of strong trends entering 2020 and the UAE, as the leading regional hub and employment destination of choice, are perfectly positioned to reap the benefits ahead. The Year of EXPO are timed nicely to become strong and innovative influences for the next stage of economic growth as the need for new and cleaner industries, across the Oil-rich region, is more apparent than ever.