Average salaries in the United Arab Emirates rose by a mere 0.46 per cent year-on-year, according to the annual Gulf Business 2016 Salary Survey.
The average monthly salary in the UAE stands at $11,276, compared to $11,224 last year.
The survey, compiled using data from a select group of recruiters, also showed a marginal decline in pay packets in the last year across the Gulf Cooperation Council region, as economic growth slowed due to low oil prices.
The average salary for Arab, Asian and Western expats in this year’s survey is $11,123 per month, a 0.8 per cent decline from last year when salaries rose 7.88 per cent to $11,211.
This year’s survey again found a huge variance in the wages pocketed by Arab, Asian and Western expats.
In the UAE for instance, Western construction project managers make $15,072 per month, 58 per cent higher than their Asian peers. A similar percentage difference was also found in the salaries of real estate managers, with Western expats making $10,657 per month – 58 per cent more than the $6,743 that their Asian counterparts earn.
Top 10 salaries in the UAE
(All the amounts are monthly averages taken from Asian, Western and Arab expat salaries)
- Chief executive officer/managing director – multinational: $35,085
- Chief executive officer/managing director – local company: $22,820
- Banking – treasury manager: $13,490
- Information technology – manager: $13,069
- Construction – project manager: $12,356
- Human resources – manager: $11,318
- Legal – lawyer marketer/manager: $10,463
- Banking – retail/personal banking manager: $10,273
- Banking – branch manager: $10,215
- Healthcare – general practitioner/manager: $9,960
Looking ahead, experts are confident that despite the economic slowdown, the UAE will continue to attract skilled workers and see movement within the labour market.
“The UAE remains stable and ambitious in its growth plans, making it a destination of choice for job seekers,” said Charterhouse managing director for Middle East and Europe, Jennifer Campori.
Recent changes to the labour law in particular, allowing employees on permanent contracts to change jobs sooner, are also expected to impact employee movement.
“People will be looking for their income to meet the cost of living and they’ll be looking to change their jobs to match that cost of living increase,” added recruitment consultancy Nadia’s director Ian Giulianotti.