His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, has officially opened Careers UAE Exhibition 2013 this morning, amid strong attendance to mark the Year of Emiratisation. The nation’s leading recruitment, training and education exhibition is geared exclusively towards UAE nationals and will run until 2nd May at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

Careers UAE Exhibition is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has tirelessly advocated for Emiratisation and announced 2013 as the Year of Emiratisation. The private sector plays a pivotal role in the empowerment of UAE nationals, and Careers UAE Exhibition has increased the number of its private sector exhibitors by seven per cent.

“We would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his continued support of Careers UAE Exhibition.  This year holds particular significance as the ‘Year of Emiratisation’, and the show has witnessed increased participation from new prestigious blue-chip organisations and private sector companies, as well as loyal government partners, and educational institutions. Over the last 13 years, Careers UAE Exhibition has witnessed the growing strength of Emiratisation programmes throughout the UAE, and we are pleased to provide a unique platform to give Emiratis full exposure to dynamic opportunities offered in recruitment, training and education,” said H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre.

More than 150 exhibitors, representing 20% growth over last year, are participating in this year’s edition, encompassing a vast array of industries ranging from finance, trade and commerce, IT, hospitality, oil and gas, transportation, telecommunications and to numerous others. The diversity of the blue chip companies and the wide-ranging attractions for visitors have bolstered Careers UAE Exhibition’s reputation as the preferred platform for enlightening and empowering Emirati job seekers, graduates and students.

According to the UAE Ministry of Labour, currently about 22,000 Emiratis work in the private sector – constituting 9.7% of the total Emirati workforce of 225,000. Given that the majority of the Emirati population (65%) is under 25 years of age, the youth demographic is one of the target audiences that Careers UAE Exhibition is engaging in order to facilitate interaction with private sector exhibitors.

Companies participating at the exhibition represent a broad range of sectors and include ADNOC, Al Futtaim, Al Rostamani Group, Bayt.com, Commercial Bank of Dubai, DEWA, DP World, Du, Dubal, Dubai Municipality, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), EMAL, Emirates Group, Etisalat, First Select, Go Glocal, Higher Colleges of Technology, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the Presidential Guard, RTA, Tanmia, UAE University, Zayed University and numerous others.

In order to facilitate a fast, simple and convenient recruitment process, Careers UAE Exhibition has also introduced ‘Wadheefty’, an online job portal where companies can post vacancies exclusively for Emiratis – all hosted on one user-friendly interface.

Among the attractions of Careers UAE 2013 is the Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed UAE Nationals Training Initiative. The initiative strives to nurture and prepare UAE nationals for executive and managerial positions by giving them experience in leading national and international companies. Other show features include the Creative Economy Programme hosted by Brownbook; the CV Clinic presented by Bayt.com; the LEGO and Metaphor Training session and the exclusive opportunity to meet with UAE female corporate leaders at the Emirati Women Leaders Panel.

Commenting on the third instalment of the Majid Bin Mohammed UAE Nationals Training Initiative, Marwan Juma bin Beyat – Director General of The Private Office of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “Today marks the launch of the third edition of the Majid Bin Mohammed UAE Nationals Training Initiative, and throughout the years we have witnessed the level of interest in training opportunities steadily increasing. Training plays a central role by bridging the gap between education and career path, so that the transition from being a student to becoming a professional is more gradual and seamless”.

One aspect of Careers UAE Exhibition 2013 has been the emphasis on the diversity of opportunities, encouraging Emiratis to explore unique career paths. One such field is the creative sector: “Bringing together key creative organisations and individuals is central to what Brownbook does. Careers UAE is the perfect platform to bring the creative industries to young Emirati students and graduates. With the growth of the creative economy in the UAE, job opportunities for Emiratis are increasing. The Creative Economy Programme will engage the imaginations of the visitors and present new alternative employments opportunities,” said Ahmed Bin Shabib, Founder and Publisher of arts and culture magazine Brownbook.

Reiterating the fact that Careers UAE Exhibition is an inclusive platform for international academic institutions, training organisations and professional bodies in addition to employers, Ali Al Awadi – Director, Human Capital Department at Zayed University said, “The fact that we are seeing more and more graduates in addition to young undergraduate visitors at Careers UAE Exhibition who have not yet entered the job market, shows that Emirati students are planning ahead. By the time they graduate, they will already have gained valuable exposure of what lies ahead, and their qualifications will be in sync with their career ambitions.”

Open exclusively for UAE Nationals and HR practitioners, Careers UAE Exhibition 2013 will be held in Halls 5 – 8 at DWTC. It takes place until 2nd of May 2013 from 10am to 6pm daily. On the 1st of May from 10am – 1pm, it will be open to females only. Prospective participants can access more detailed information about the Careers UAE Exhibition 2013 on the website www.careersuae.ae.

Adelle Geronimo is the Editorial Assistant for Trade and Export Middle East magazine. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication at the University of the City of Manila, Philippines (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) in 2012.