Salaries across the GCC showed mute growth in the last year as the region grappled with low government spending, new austerity measures and reduced oil revenues, according to the 2017 Gulf Business Salary Survey.
The average monthly salary across our three expatriate groups – Asian, Arab and Western – increased just 0.49 per cent or $54 over the last year, from $11,123 to $11,177. This was 0.3 per cent below the $11,211 seen in 2015.
Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia showed the weakest salary growth overall with an increase of 0.18 per cent on average across our three groups from $12,986 to $13,010 a month.
Average Asian salaries in the kingdom increased 0.26 per cent from $10,825 to $10,853, Arab salaries were up 0.22 per cent from $13,936 to $13,966 and Western salaries were up a meagre 0.11 per cent from $14,197 to $14,212.
The gap in salaries between the different nationalities also remained wide in the kingdom. Similar to the UAE, the difference in wages for construction project managers particularly stands out, with Western expats pocketing $16,876 per month – 54.8 per cent more than the $10,897 that their Asian counterparts earn. A Western banking branch manager also makes 42 per cent more than an Asian expat holding the same position in the kingdom.
Top 10 salaries in Saudi Arabia
(All the amounts are monthly averages taken from Asian, Western and Arab expat salaries with data collated from Charterhouse Middle East and Nadia)
Chief executive officer/managing director – multinational: $39,643
Chief executive officer/managing director – local company: $25,457
Banking – treasury manager: $15,797
Construction – project manager: $14,261
Information technology – manager: $14,231
Healthcare – general practitioner/manager: $12,777
Real estate – manager: $12,611
Human resources – manager: $12,003
Banking – branch manager: $11,957
Legal – lawyer marketer/manager: $11,790
Looking ahead, recruiters believe that salaries are unlikely to see sharp growth this year.
“While I believe 2017 is set to be more positive than 2016, salaries will most likely remain flat as businesses still struggle with global market conditions and remain cautious with regard to any extra spending,” said Jennifer Campori, managing director of Charterhouse Middle East.
Also read: Revealed: The UAE’s top 10 salaries
The complete 2017 Salary Survey is published in the April issue of Gulf Business, out on stands now.