x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Payrises of up to 120 per cent handed out in Qatar

If you are after a payrise then maybe look to Qatar, it's handing out increases of up to 120 per cent.

A decree by deputy Emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has announced payrised of up to 120 per cent.EPA/STRINGER
A decree by deputy Emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has announced payrised of up to 120 per cent.EPA/STRINGER

With the threat of a second global recession looming large, most governments are looking to tighten their belts in preparation for the bumpy ride ahead.

But not Qatar, that is - the world's richest nation per capita - which announced today that it will hand out salary and allowance increases of up to 120 per cent to its employees.

State civilian employees will receive a 60 per cent boost on their basic salary and social allowance, while military staff of officer rank will receive a 120 per cent rise on both.

All other ranks will see a 50 per cent increase on their salary and social allowance, according to a degree by deputy Emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

A statement published via the state news agency also said that civilian retirees will see a 60 per cent increase in their total pension, while retirees of officer ranks will receive a 120 per cent increase. All other military retiree ranks will receive 50 per cent.

The increases may be welcomed by public sector staff, but they could make the private sector less attractive to Qataris.

"Many GCC states have recognised that they need to make a concerted effort to attract nationals into the private sector. This dramatic increase in public sector wages seems counterproductive to that aim," says Toby Simpson, managing director at the Gulf Recruitment Group in Dubai.

The policy also runs the risk of creating inflationary pressures.

"The effect on the already high house prices might be dramatic.

"There is a real risk of further polarising a segment of society in a nation where 30% of construction workers are paid less than US$220 a month," he adds.

The Gulf state, like the UAE, escaped the uprisings that have swept across the Arab world.

Its large natural gas reserves have helped it ensure its place on a list of the world's richest nations.

The salary increases will cost 10 billion riyals ($2.75 bln) a year and be effective from September 1.