Thousands of new jobs projected – The UAE solar panel expansion

The next two years are expected to generate about 1,000 new jobs in the UAE as the solar power renewable energy demands rise. IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) claims that overall employment in the renewable energy sector rose by 18% in 2014 over 2013 and predicts this trend to continue.  MESIA (the Middle East Solar Industry Association) has announced that they expect at least 1,000 new jobs to be created within the next two years in the UAE. Vahid Fotuhi, MESIA’s founder, has indicate that this growth is expected to be a result of both small, residential rooftop solar applications as well as the larger projects, such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

Commercial projects such as Shams Dubai will also create jobs in other sectors, such as development, manufacturing, financing, operations, procurement and construction. The Shams Dubai project is the pilot program of the DEWA (Dubai Electrical and Water Authority).  This initiative is designed to issue regulations to install solar energy in commercial buildings with connections to the grid and to encourage the installation of solar panels throughout the UAE.

Making up almost 2.5M of the 7.7M global renewable energy jobs, IRENA reports that the solar photovoltaic initiative is the largest renewable energy employer globally, beating out geothermal, small hydropower, biofuels and wind. According to Rabia Ferroukhi, the deputy director of knowledge, policy and finance at IRENA, an estimated 120K regional jobs could be created annually if the UAE successfully meets its targets

The reason given for the fact that PV creates twice as many jobs as the gas, oil or coal industries is due to the fact that conventional energy production is a mature industry. There are not as many new developments in this sector as the renewable resources. Energy conservation is now a global investment.

The designers and manufacturers of the new PV products are also projecting a growth in the near future, specifically in sales staff. The value chain will grow exponentially.

Dubai will need to carefully examine and strategize on its power supply as the manufacturers grow and production increases. DEWA will need to implement the resources to meet these new demands. Considering once again the UAE’s financial resources, these markets will grow in leaps and bounds, going from neo-natal stage to full maturity, by-passing everything in between. Once this happens, the growth in jobs will slow down as the companies settle in to taking care of business.


James Swallow is Commercial Director of UAE based PRO Partner Group. PRO Partner Group specialises in providing foreign investors with a seamless and financially efficient means to setting up a profitable corporate presence in the Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We can advise on the best way to set up your business to undertake the relevant activities and access the relevant sections of the market, UAE local market, Government, Onshore, Freezone and Internationally. Contact James direct on james@propartnergroup.com for further information.