Average salaries in the United Arab Emirates across professional occupations including finance and accounting, financial services, information technology, legal, human resources and administration, are expected to rise 1.7 per cent in 2016, a new report has found.
The salary guide report by Robert Half also stated that starting salaries for most professionals are expected to see only modest rises over the next 12 months.
However, some of roles that are the difficult to fill are predicted to see huge wage increases. Internal auditors are anticipated to see an 8.9 per cent wage hike and learning and development managers are expected to see salary growth of 7.6 per cent next year.
Associate director of Robert Half UAE Gareth El Mettouri said: “Businesses are actively seeking skilled professionals for new roles and to fill open vacancies which is driving salaries rises well above average for in-demand roles, despite the region’s outlook facing some uncertainty.
“Hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates.”
Within the accounting sector, higher rises are anticipated for roles within compliance and audit, reflecting the ongoing importance being placed on meeting regulatory and reporting changes, the report found.
Overall, accounting and finance professionals in the UAE can expect an average salary increase of 2.3 per cent.
Meanwhile skilled financial services professionals are in high demand with 93 per cent of finance directors reporting that they are challenged in filling positions.
Average salary increases for financial services professionals are predicted to rise by 1.5 per cent, while roles within compliance, and private equity and asset management are expected to receive salary increases above 3 per cent on average.
Within the technology sector, professionals in systems architecture and networking are expected to see higher than average wage hikes at over 2 per cent. However, average salary increases within the overall sector are anticipated to be quite modest at 1.1 per cent.
In terms of human resources and administration, senior learning and development professionals who are able to drive the programmes required for staff are in short supply. Hence starting salaries for these roles are seeing higher than average rises.
Roles across HR and administrations are expected to see an average rise of 2.4 per cent in 2016, the report added.
Meanwhile professionals within the legal function, both in-house and private practice, are predicted to receive an average starting salary increase of 1.4 per cent.
“As the UAE economy continues to rely on specialist professionals who are able to add value from day one, business need to offer candidates competitive market salaries to attract them to the region,” said El Mettouri.
“As the region continues to compete for skilled professionals both locally and internationally, ensuring star performers are receiving competitive remuneration helps businesses remain attractive to both existing staff as well as potential new recruits.”