x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Salaries drop slightly for property professionals in the Middle East

Cityscape: There was a slight decline in salaries in the property sector in the Middle East amid regional unrest.

The average salary for professionals in the property sector in the Middle East is down fractionally on last year to Dh37,965 (US$10,366) a month amid global economic uncertainty and the Arab Spring.

The average salary in the industry last year was Dh38,351, according to Macdonald & Company, the property recruitment agency, which released its annual survey yesterday.

"Bearing in mind the global uncertainty and what's going on in the wider Arab world, it's quite a reasonable statistic really," said Ben Waddilove, a Macdonald director. "In 2009, people were getting laid off left, right and centre and there were also big salary cuts. We haven't really seen any of that this year."

The survey revealed that the average bonuses rose 4.4 per cent to Dh76,431. Forty per cent of respondents received a bonus in the past year.

A lower percentage of people in the sector lost their job.

This year's survey showed that 21 per cent of the respondents were made redundant, which was a 3 per cent decrease compared with last year. Of these individuals who were made redundant, 78 per cent have already found employment, up from last year's 69 per cent.

"Professionals are still very attracted to this region for financial, career and family reasons, particularly when compared to current available opportunities in the UK, Europe and the US," Macdonald said. "A majority of respondents agree that the wider political unrest will have long-term positive results for the Arab world."

A total of 1,439 property professionals - defined as sales staff, managers and executives - based in the Middle East region took part in the survey, with the majority of respondents based in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, speaking about the Dubai property market, Ziad El Chaar, the managing director of Damac Properties, said the industry "had learnt a lot from the crash.

"We have seen very important regulations coming into the country," he said.

There remains however little clarity on the plans for initiatives such as the introduction of a three-year residency visa for foreign property buyers that was announced earlier this year and is expected to help to provide a boost to the property market.

"I know they're working on the details [of the new visa]," said Mohamad Khodr Al Dah, the head of Taqyeem at the Dubai Land Department.

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Sound & Vision: Cityscape Global 2011
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