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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

More than half of UAE professionals expect a pay rise in 2018: survey

Employees believe cost of living increases in the Emirates will lead to better salary packages

Food and beverage price increases were blamed for the rising costs by eight in 10 respondents while 67 per cent cited rising utility bills. Jaime Puebla / The National
Food and beverage price increases were blamed for the rising costs by eight in 10 respondents while 67 per cent cited rising utility bills. Jaime Puebla / The National

More than half of UAE professionals are expecting a pay rise this year, a new study from online job site Bayt.com revealed on Monday, with close to a third believing inflation and the rise in the cost of living will drive the increases.

According to the Middle East and North Africa Salaries survey from YouGov and Bayt.com, 56 per cent of respondents expect a salary hike before the end of the year while 27 per cent believe their raise will be as much as 10 per cent.

“It’s no surprise that as the cost of living increases in the Mena region, so do salaries and raise expectations," said Suhail Masri, vice president of employer solutions, at Bayt.com.

However, David Mackenzie, managing director of Mackenzie Jones Group, one of the largest independent recruitment groups in the GCC, said that employees expecting an increase are “really hoping here”.

“The economy is still creaking along and for companies to increase their cost line over decreasing profits is a wish scenario,” he said. “The people expecting a salary increase of 10 per cent are just dreaming."

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According to the Bayt.com survey, almost half of respondents received a salary raise in 2017 - a year that saw cost of living increases of up to 30 per cent for the majority of those polled. Food and beverage price increases were blamed for the rising costs by eight in 10 respondents while 67 per cent cited rising utility bills. The majority of those surveyed also anticipate a further increase in the cost of living in 2018, saying that most of their current monthly expenditure goes on food and dining out followed by education and books.

Mr Mackenzie said that rising prices do not guarantee a pay rise.

“Just because the cost of living goes up does not mean the company you work for has to bear those costs – that’s not how it works,” he said. “The reality is that you get an increase in your salary whether the market’s good or bad depending on how well you are doing."

The Bayt.com study, which aims to gauge employee satisfaction with their current salary levels, found that the current salary package for six in 10 UAE respondents consists of a basic salary with benefits while just under a quarter say they only receive a basic salary. The benefits residents are most likely to receive are medical insurance (53 per cent), followed by an annual air ticket (45 per cent) and an end of service gratuity (32 per cent). Only 28 per cent receive a bonus and 27 per cent a housing allowance.

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