Majority of salaries in UAE expected to rise in 2019

Major consultancies expect hiring and salaries to rise, but caveats persist including economy forecasts and the changing nature of what candidates expect from organisations.
UAE, United Arab Emirates, Tech, Technology, Business, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Salary, Employment, Work, Job, Society, Korn Ferry

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Dubai Marina as seen from the Palm Jumeirah. Photo credit: Ben Mack

Employees at a majority of organisations in the UAE could receive a raise this year, according to a new study.

Nearly 65% of organisations surveyed by consultancy firm Korn Ferry said they are budgeting for an increase in remuneration rates.

The findings follow Korn Ferry's survey of 600 organisations with nearly half a million employees across major sectors in the UAE.

The statistic comes with a caveat: How much extra employees can pad their wallets with will depend on “how global, regional, and local economies perform in the coming months,” according to Korn Ferry’s Middle East and Africa regional director,” Harish Bhatia.

Given economic forecasts, Bhatia said raises should look to be within a band of “2.5 and 4.5 percent.”

Public sector spending will continue to drive regional growth and employment as well as increment prospects in the UAE and KSA according to PageGroup managing director, Leith Ramsay.

“The private sector still remains heavily reliant on major projects which drive hiring requirements across key sectors including financial services, energy, property and construction,” he said.

While Ramsay expects recruitment and increment activity to continue into 2019, “Tax free salaries are no longer enough to attract and retain the best people,” he said.

Salary increases of 10-15% were considered typical earlier, he said, but “candidate expectations are now multi-layered… they want more detail about career development plans and organisational culture as well as flexibility, which has the same currency as salary for many candidates while the cost to organisations is negligible.”

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