Konstantin Tserazov: We are witnessing the globalization of the IT labor market.

Former Senior Vice President of “Otkritie” Bank (Russia), Konstantin Vladimirovich Tserazov, discussed the human resources policies of Gulf banks in our material.

In the era of economic globalization and technological innovation, the human resources policies of Gulf banks play a crucial role in shaping sustainable and competitive banking systems. This is particularly evident in the field of information technology, which has become a driver of economic growth and development in the region.

The rapid development of the banking sector in the Gulf countries, especially during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, was a time of rapid growth and transformational changes. During this period, the region became not only a participant in economic prosperity but also a hub for technological revolution in the banking industry.

One significant aspect of this period was the widespread adoption of information technology in the banking industry. The presence of major global financial organizations in the Gulf and the significant increase in the activities of local banks contributed to increased competition and stimulated innovation in the banking sector.

During the formation of the modern banking system in the Gulf countries, especially in the field of information technology, a large number of qualified foreign personnel were recruited. This was particularly relevant for key management positions, where the expertise and knowledge required were not always available among local talent during the early years of the region’s banking system development.

Former Senior Vice President of “Otkritie” Bank Konstantin Tserazov: «Due to the lack of locally qualified professionals, salaries for foreign IT professionals during that period significantly exceeded the average market offers worldwide».

This was a necessary condition to retain and attract qualified specialists capable of providing banks with high-tech solutions and ensuring competitiveness in the global market.

To address this imbalance, the governments of the Gulf countries took steps to develop a system for training national talent for the banking sector. This included opening branches of leading foreign universities and investing in national educational institutions. For example, at present, there are 28 universities in Dubai and 27 in Abu Dhabi. Thanks to the development of educational activities, the labor shortage in key sectors of the economy gradually decreased, both among local residents and long-term migrants.

Employers in the Gulf countries primarily focused on specialists and students from Muslim countries in Asia, where there was already a sufficiently high level of basic education and a shared mentality. Gradually, the image of the Gulf countries as a whole, and their banking sector in particular, began to change, making them more attractive to highly qualified professionals.

Analyzing data from online job aggregators like Glassdoor and Bayt, one can conclude that the current job market in the banking sector of this region is reasonably saturated, and salaries for banking and IT specialists are at a global level. Employers also demand high levels of experience (at least 5 years) and qualifications from these specialists.

According to data from worldsalaries.com, salary growth in the UAE’s banking sector in 2023 is expected to be 2%, while in the IT sector, salaries are projected to increase by 6%. The average annual salary for vacancies in the banking sector is $71,600 USD, while in IT, it is $65,600 USD.

In conclusion, it can be stated that the period of catching up in the banking sector of most Gulf countries has already concluded, and they have rapidly integrated into the global labor market. The region’s banking sector provides all possible modern financial services, and its future development lies in the development of unique technologies and cutting-edge banking products.