x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

UAE salary rises to be more modest this year

Salaries for professional occupations are forecast to rise an average 3.8 per cent this year, according to the 2014 Salary Guide from the recruitment consultancy Robert Half.

Lianne Gutcher

Salaries are set to rise at a more “modest” rate in 2014 compared with previous years as the UAE becomes perceived as a more desirable place to work, said the recruitment consultancy Robert Half.

Salaries for professional occupations are forecast to increase an average 3.8 per cent this year, according to the 2014 Salary Guide.

But inflation pressures could build up this year, particularly rising rents, and the pay increases may not be enough to keep up with prices.

Jobs in accounting and finance, and technology will lead the way increasing on average 5 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively. The 2013 salary guide forecast an average increase of 5 per cent.

The forecasts for this year “are fairly modest because we have been so aggressive in the past couple of years as a region”, said James Maidlow, a senior manager at Robert Half in Dubai. “We’ve had really bullish 2012, 2013. Back in the day this used to be a little bit of a hardship location whereas [now] you’ve got lots of cosmopolitan factors here meaning that the salaries don’t need to be a huge increase on what they currently are.”

The Robert Half salary guide, published annually, covers 130 individual positions in the accountancy and finance, financial services, technology, human resources and legal professions.

Salaries in the Emirates – even with the more moderate increases combined with the 5 per cent inflation forecast by HSBC – remain competitive vis–à–vis other job markets, Mr Maidlow said.

The lack of qualified professionals in some roles means companies are likely to fight to attract and retain the top talent.

Salaries for accountants are expected to rise because of the expertise needed to handle the raft of compliance regulation emerging from the United Kingdom and United States. An influx of investment in construction and property – expected to increase in the run-up to Expo2020 in Dubai – will also encourage the hiring of finance professionals.

“Because of Expo 2020, real estate and construction, finance is huge,” Mr Maidlow said. “They are doing multimillion-dollar transactions. The more money that comes in the more the treasury, finance and departments get upgraded.”