The last 12 months have proven challenging for many companies based in the Gulf region and the 2017 Gulf Business Salary Survey reflects that sentiment.
The average 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.
Qatar was one of the most divided markets in terms of salary increases in this year’s survey.
While the overall average monthly salary was up 0.98 per cent from $12,086 to $12,204, this was largely a reflection of a significant increase for Asian expats while Arab and Western expat average salaries decreased.
Asian salaries in Qatar were up 7.3 per cent from $9,548 to $10,245, although this was still 2.33 per cent below the $10,489 seen in 2015. Arab salaries were down 2.33 per cent from $13,156 to $12,850 and Western salaries were down 0.28 per cent from $13,555 to $13,517.
Recruiters indicate that the wage protection system introduced by the 2022 World Cup host in 2015 has made employers in the country more conscious of how they treat employees, while tournament preparation is also seeing the country pay a better rate than its Gulf peers for Asian junior and middle management staff.
Partly due to this increase, there was a slight closing of the gap between average Asian salaries and their Arab and Western counterparts over the last 12 months.
Top 10 salaries in Qatar
(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: $39,013
Chief executive officer/managing director – local company: $24,972
Banking – treasury manager: $14,653
Information technology – manager: $14,217
Construction – project manager: $13,452
Real estate – manager: $12,092
Legal – lawyer marketer/manager: $11,370
Banking – retail/personal banking manager: $10,960
Banking – branch manager: $10,863
Healthcare – general practitioner/manager: $10,702
Looking ahead, with the GCC states expected to implement VAT next year, employees will expect hope for better pay rises.
But these demands are likely to fall on deaf ears, however, as companies continue to navigate tough economic waters, opined Ian Giulianotti, director at Nadia.
Longer term, events like the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are still considered bright spots on the horizon and hoped to help the region retain its appeal for expatriates.
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.