‘Spy Tool’ Blackberry saga hits Dubai telecoms industry

In recent years the telecommunications industry in Dubai, and in the UAE as a whole, has seen rapid growth with more providers entering the market and many retail outlets reporting increased sales of mobile phones. Technology is a major growth industry in the region, fuelled by the desire to have the best of everything and to prove to the world that Dubai is a city to be reckoned with.

The recent furore regarding the Blackberry, the business phone of choice in the western world, and its makers RIM has led to some doubts in the industry as a whole, yet foreigners looking at jobs in the industry should rest assured that there are still plenty of openings.

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UK Students head to Ras Al Khaimah

Jobs in the education sector in Dubai and the UAE have long been plentiful with expat schools offering full courses for foreign students. Now, in a unique twist, a number of lucky UK students who are denied places at the University of Bolton could find they are offered a chance to study at that university’s sister campus – at Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE!

Three year degree courses at the university will be on offer to 50 students who fail to get a place at Bolton but who achieve three A grades at A-level, in a move that is both innovative and an indication of the growing stature of the teaching and education sector in the region.

The courses will be exactly the same as those on offer at Bolton and accommodation costs, plus fees, will be pegged at the same level, although the subject of grants or loans is one that has yet to be finalised.

The vice chancellor of Ras Al Khaimah, Professor Rob Campbell, explained:

“This is the first time we have offered UK students the opportunity to study in RAK for the full three years of a degree course. The university will charge students the same tuition fees as its UK-based students and accommodation fees will be the same as they are in Bolton.” ”

The University of Bolton, Ras Al Khaimah, can boast the Crown Prince of the emirate among its graduates and is a highly regarded institution that is typical of the market sector in the region.

Dubai retail space up 260% in 2010

Whole some areas of industry have experienced a downturn in recent years there are promising signs that the retail industry is experiencing and unprecedented boom in Dubai and the UAE. The latest reports show a colossal increase in leasable retail space in Dubai itself up to 2010, with an increase of over 260% indicated in research by the Mumbai based Bharat Book Bureau research company.

In an interesting contrast to the rise in available space a report by CB Richard Ellis, consultants in the industry, stated that rental rates have fallen considerably in recent years, indicating a loss of value in what were possibly over-inflated rental costs in recent years. Indeed, to rent retail space in Dubai costs almost half of the amount it would have done in 2006.

With some of the lowest rental charges in the Middle East – let alone Europe – Dubai may be set for an increase in retail that is unprecedented in the region. Global brands continue to move into the city and with such attractive costs there is likely to be an influx of worldwide retail brands in the years to come.

This in turn adds to the possibilities of jobs in the market, with sales and marketing openings coming hand in hand with an increase in retail lets. The way the market is developing indicates that Dubai is settling into its new found position as a retail centre for Middle East businesses, and the more international brands take up residence in the malls of the city the more others are likely to follow.

Banking and travel resurgence means PA jobs on the rise

Western business has long regarded the Personal Assistant as part and parcel of a well run and efficient corporation, but the many differences between the way we work and the underlying traditions in the Middle East have meant the concept of the PA has taken some getting used to in places such as Dubai.

As Dubai emerges from the recent economic slump that affected the whole world and begins to re-emerge as a major growth area the increase in foreign companies operating in the region has led to greater reliance on the PA, and as a result an increased need for those with experience in organising the day to day lives of executives in a fast moving environment.

With a different set of laws – both in business and personal life – to those experienced in western society, the life and job of a PA in Dubai may take some getting used to for many people, but adaptability is very much the key to the position. Being able to act quickly and to play the part of intermediary between businessmen from both the East and the West is a prime objective of the Dubai PA.

With such diverse growth areas as the travel and tourism trade, the construction industry, finance and the media there is a widespread call for PA’s from all walks of life, but to expect a smooth transition may be a touch optimistic. Dubai is a promising place to work, and once the nuances of business in the UAE are understood a good PA can be worth a great deal.

Canadian Specialist Hospital says medical tourism on the rise in UAE

The healthcare industry in the UAE and Dubai is one that operates to a high standard, and the latest figures regarding medical tourism – people coming to the region to be treated – confirms the high regard that the hospitals in the region are held in.

With top class modern machinery and attention to detail in working practices that are second to none there is little surprise that the quality of service is high, yet a figure of over four million people visiting the region to take advantage of the facilities is a colossal amount.

Jobs in the healthcare industry are on the rise directly as a result of the growing interest in the industry, and these figures – official announcements from the UAE government – hold great promise for prospects in the region in coming years.

In the Middle East there is on bigger player in the medical tourism market than the UAE and the value of the industry is some $1.7bn, a major contribution to the income of the region.

One hospital that offers such services, the Canadian Specialist Hospital in Deira, fields some 1500 US patients every month, and Chairman of the hospital Mohammed Rashid Al Falasi explained:

“Treatment rates in the UAE are lower than overseas hospitals. We have hospitals, such as the CSH, offering ultra-high standards of medical services that reflect the development of medicine in the UAE, as well as the world’s simplest and most positive healthcare regulations [in the UAE] when it comes to dealing with patients from all over the world.”

The health industry is a major employer of foreign nationals and growth is expected to be rapid.

UK broadcaster ITN to open Dubai office

The announcement that ITN, the UK news broadcaster, is to open an ITV office in Dubai is excellent news for the fast growing media and PR industry in the city and the rest of the UAE. With recent investment in the advertising industry in the region the presence of a worldwide renowned broadcaster will add to the cache that Dubai already carries in the media world.

With the intention of covering news from the Middle East, the Indian regions and Africa the new office will be a major centre for news in the region, and according to reports in UK newspapers is set to be run by John Irvine, newly appointed as ITN’s International Correspondent.

In an interesting contrast to the opening of the Dubai office it was also reported that ITN would be shutting the outlet in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the understanding that its operations would be covered by the new Dubai bureau.

Explaining the intentions and advantages of the location, Jonathon Munro, deputy editor for ITN news, told the UK Guardian newspaper:

“The strategic decision to open the Dubai bureau will improve our longer-term newsgathering and ability to get teams on the ground for breaking stories in a wide area from Pakistan to Southern Africa.”

The first new ITN overseas bureau since it opened a similar office in China in 2006, the choice of Dubai highlights the city’s perfect location and adds to the potential increase in opportunities for those looking for employment in the media and PR world in the region.