The Future of Work and its impact on Global FDI Attraction

Zehra Fattah Bani | 01 Jun 2023 | Middle East perspective

Impressively, ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley has predicted the technological evolution way before it was evident, and the reality he deemed to be one of constant control, filled with technology addiction, and ruled by mainstream media and television are some of the factors that he has miraculously foreseen in his bestseller that was first published in the 1930’s.

Other than these daunting factors, on the other hand he also predicted economic stability across nations, inward fulfillment, and the possibility of happiness and opportunities way beyond what we could imagine back then.

What does this mean for, and how do his predictions influence us, our workplaces and the economy in general today?

One of the most significant takeaways of the novel, is that regardless how much our technologies develop, we are still a human centric society, and whereas technological developments contribute to our growth, human connection is what makes the difference and is not interchangeable. Highlighting some of the leading industry sectors, we can see that technology is complementing the workplace of the present and future, rather than eliminating it or posing a threat to the workforce.

Traditional Industries vs. Emerging industries and upcoming Jobs

Looking at the current landscape there are a set of industries that are bound to remain lucrative and provide stable work and investment opportunities by ensuring growth in GDP.

These sectors and positions require us to adjust by staying up to date with developments and upskill our abilities. We have been doing this since generations, but the only difference is that these changes that are happening at lightspeed, require dedication and a sincere growth mindset.

Food & Beverage

The F&B industry will always remain, and Agriculture, Packaging, Food processing and other subsectors within the industry will flourish and provide opportunities for both employees and investors. The pandemic has been a catalyst for the restaurant industry, and restaurants that kept up with trends such as introducing QR codes, offering outdoor dining and takeaways are amongst those that manage to thrive. A booming industry, the online food delivery market is projected to reach US$0.77tn in 2022.


The healthcare industry is ever growing, and with rising and ageing populations, there is a strong momentum and focus is on lifestyle, health and wellness, and it is one of the industries that will always remain and is bound to grow. Sub-sectors such as new age nursing homes, medical facilities and health tech devises, as well as disruptive technologies in AI, patient and clinic portal providers and ICT are amongst subsectors that contribute to the disruption and ultimately continuous growth of this industry. Doctors, nurses and healthcare staff will always have secure jobs, and on top of this, this industry will provide a range of careers in the health tech sector. The industry is predicted to add about $31 billion in profits by 2025.


The education industry is one of the fastest growing industries. A trillion-dollar business and one that probably carries the heaviest burden, as it is responsible for shaping the economy to adjust to the fourth industrial evolution and prepares the young and old with skills for the future. Technology is now at the heart of learning, and traditional classroom, teaching practices, and subjects are undergoing a major shift which doesn’t only impact the way we learn, but how we do things, and equally affects our thought processes. The Education segment worldwide is projected to grow by 9.13% (2022-2026) resulting in a market volume of US$10.04bn in 2026 and has grown beyond providing career opportunities in teaching, and administration but offers a set of career options for e-learning providers, coders and other positions within the tech sector.

Professional Services

The Professional Services sector has a substantial influence on Global FDI, and similar to the other sectors mentioned, it doesn’t stay untouched by the technological evolution. The industry employs highly skilled workers in accounting, engineering, information technology, alongside management consulting which is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors that is expected to grow to $973.67 billion by the end of 2022. Skill Development and Talent Attraction is a new and upcoming sector that is bound to create many new careers in AI and Automation but will most certainly still require the human touch. The success of a government and ultimately economy doesn’t solely rely on latest technologies and investments, but human capital is what is the driving force behind any successful nation. What are some transferrable skills that are not only a nice to have but a necessity when driving the economy to be at the forefront of the world stage?

Skills of the Future: Seeking meaningful work and experiencing human connections can never be replaced by automation, but topped up with a set of emerging skills, we can ensure a future proof society.

Digital Literacy: Besides being proficient in the www. And Microsoft Office, skills such as AI, Blockchain, Crypto are upcoming and various reputable educational institutions are offering these as part of a degree program or short training courses.

Emotional Intelligence: One of the key skills, that will never be replaced is emotional intelligence. Recognizing and anticipating emotions and being able to show empathy towards others is a trait that is not only highly beneficial in a personal setting but is necessary for most industries and careers.

Collaboration: The pandemic has disrupted the way we live and the way we work.

It gave employees the opportunity to work remotely and across geographies. More than ever, this showed us that with the appropriate processes in place we are perfectly capable of working in hybrid and remote teams, but on the flipside, teamwork and collaboration has become more crucial than ever. Industries such as Management Consulting i.e. have benefited strongly from these changes and have set a great example for other more traditional sectors to differentiate their selves and diversify the way they work.

Flexibility: Over 51% of businesses adapted the hybrid work model which allows employees to work in the conventional office environment, but also provide the freedom to choose to work remotely. This gave employees the opportunity to have more work life balance, and in many cases increased productivity significantly but also required staff to be flexible. In an ever-changing world, this of course not for everyone and key is to choose what works for an individual and their needs and for employers to offer the option to do so. These are just some skills that benefit the ‘Brave New World’ we currently live in and there are a number of others that differentiates professionals from the rest. Looking at these high growth sectors, and their impact on global FDI, what can governments do to attract these industries and talents?

Work Visas: The UAE has recently started offering long term visas such as the ‘golden visa’ and updated their Immigration Policies that aim to attract talent that has the potential to have a positive impact on the economy. Other jurisdictions started to follow suit, with various economies rethinking their immigration practices and policies with the ultimate aim to not only attract high growth investment but also talent to support shape the economy.

Financial incentives, such as governments offering funding, through the various incubation and accelerating programs to attract innovative companies, as well as offering joint ventures are on the increase. There is a global need to attract research and innovation that impact economies and have the potential to create quality employment in emerging sectors.

Educational institutions that teach future skills are on the rise, and of utter importance to not only shape the economy at present, but for future generations to come.

So, what does all this mean for us? Whereas any change is inevitably frightening and can cause a set of uncertainties, rest assured and now more than ever we have the opportunity not to only be part of a stable society, but also a very a happy one…