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UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’ Sparks Surge in Green Jobs Ahead of COP28

The UAE's pledge to make 2023 a "Year of Sustainability," as well as its planned hosting of the world's largest climate change conference, COP28

The UAE’s commitment to making 2023 a ‘Year of Sustainability’ and its upcoming hosting of the world’s largest climate change gathering, COP28, has generated substantial demand for sustainability-related jobs. 

Various sectors, including packaging, healthcare, hospitality, automotive, and banking, are actively hiring professionals to enhance their environmental and sustainability initiatives.

A Surge in Green Jobs for COP28:

According to a recent global recruitment firm Robert Walters study, over 250 sustainability-focused job roles have been created in preparation for COP28. 

This major event will draw over 80,000 delegates to Dubai from November 30 to December 12, where they will engage in discussions, seminars, and high-level meetings to advance the global climate change agenda.

Sustainability Across All Sectors:

Zara Qureshi, Principal Consultant at Robert Walters Dubai, noted that no single sector in the UAE isn’t focused on improving its environmental and sustainability credentials. 

Increased sustainability job roles are expected to attract international talent and lead to salary growth. 

The UAE’s ambitious goal to become a global hub for exporting green products and technologies further drives the demand for sustainability professionals, positioning the region as a hub for the new green economy.

The influx of Environmental Professionals:

The study also revealed that the UAE has experienced a 26% growth in the number of professionals from an environmental background in the past 12 months. 

Approximately 35,000 professionals in the UAE now list sustainability and environmental compliance as primary skills, reflecting the growing importance of these competencies.

Top Recruiting Sectors:

Several sectors have witnessed significant growth in hiring sustainability specialists. The packaging industry leads the way with a 79% increase in job roles, followed by healthcare at 79%, hospitality at 64%, automotive at 61%, and banking and financial services at 54%. 

Other sectors, including cosmetics and beauty, events, food and beverages, luxury goods, jewelry, and law, have also contributed to the surge in green job opportunities.

Unique Talent Sourcing for COP28:

The organizers of COP28 collaborated with Robert Walters to hire specialist talent for the event, which presented a unique recruitment challenge. 

The roles required individuals with extensive knowledge, experience, and passion within their specialist areas. 

Zara Qureshi highlighted the recruitment strategy’s distinct approach involving engaging ex-UN government officials and international professionals. 

This strategy has successfully placed approximately one-third of the 250-plus professionals required to support COP28 and its sustainability goals.

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