Here's how Middle Eastern countries compete to attract top tech talent

As Middle Eastern countries set ambitious digital transformation goals, they are setting their sights on securing foreign tech talent with in-demand cybersecurity, data and analytics, cloud, and AI skills.

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The Middle East’s tech boom is under way as government initiatives prioritise digital transformation, tech start-ups report a record number of investment deals, and emerging technologies take centre stage in both the public and private sectors as many countries in the region aim to diversify their economies.

The high rate of population growth across the Middle East and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the importance of large-scale, government-led initiatives that prioritize training and investment in technology to future-proof economies from challenges such as oil price shocks, climate change, and disruptive global events. However, many countries struggle to find tech talent with key skills to achieve the goals laid out in their 2030 vision plans.

“As Middle East enterprises go through accelerated digital transformation initiatives, the need for tech specialists is increasing exponentially,” explains Jebin George, senior program manager of customer insights and analysis at IDC. “At the same time, the shortage of skills is one of the biggest challenges CIOs face regarding their digital transformation plans.” An IDC CIO survey revealed that professionals with skill sets in cybersecurity, data and analytics, cloud, and AI are currently in demand.

“Research and development is essential to ensure sustainable long-term innovation. The presence of research-focused academic institutions, with solid funding from the government and extensive industry-academia collaboration will ensure the steady inflow of quality talent,” George said

The skills gap in the Middle East, however, means that countries must compete for that talent.  Read on to see what Middle Eastern nations are doing to attract and retain foreign IT professionals.

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