Riyadh has been identified as one of the cities with the lowest people risk in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), according to the findings from the 2013 People Risk Index by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources business of Aon plc.
The Aon Hewitt 2013 People Risk Index measures the risks that organizations face with recruitment, employment and relocation in 138 cities worldwide by analyzing factors as demographics, access to education, talent and development, employment practices and government regulations.
Riyadh is the fourth highest ranked city in the Middle East after Dubai (19th), Doha (31st) and Muscat (50th), while it is placed 53rd among 138 global cities covered in the Index, rising three places compared to the 2012 People Risk Index.
Significantly, this supports Riyadh's growing reputation as a major business hub, with the capital ranking higher than the international cities of Beijing (55th), Milan (59th), Lisbon (60th) and Rome (64th).
The Index highlights Riyadh's projected growth in the workforce over the next 10 years which is expected to grow significantly, including an increasingly qualified workforce arriving from other Saudi Arabian locations as well as expatriates from all over the world.
When it came to Middle Eastern cities, Riyadh is ranked ahead of cities such as Manama (57th), Amman (83rd) and Tunis (106th) on the list, while Sana'a and Damascus were ranked the lowest of all cities involved in the survey.
"The MENA region provides plenty of opportunities for local and foreign companies, however, significant changes due to the Arab Awakening means employers are facing deeper challenges and need to adjust as the economic and business environment changes. The region's employable population is expected to almost double by 2050, to reach 278 million from the current 145 million and with increasing amount of young people entering the work force and integration of women, this will have a significant impact on how employers obtain talent," said Markus Wiesner, CEO of Aon Hewitt Middle East.
The Aon Hewitt 2013 People Risk Index showed minimal differences from the 2012 rankings among the top five cities.
Singapore remains the only city outside of Europe and North America that is ranked among the top five, while Hong Kong is among those ranked as the 10 lowest risk cities.
Of note, two European cities moved up the ranks to be among the top 10 in 2013 – Copenhagen and Zurich. This can be attributed to the many pro-business employment policies in these two cities, their open door policy towards talent and continued focus on developing and improving the education and talent development infrastructures.
The Saudi Gazette