Revealed: Average Gulf Salary Drops By 2%

Cost sensitivity and a strong supply of talent are impacting salaries in the GCC say recruiters.



The average salary of an expatriate in the Gulf has dropped just over two per cent in the last year, according to the Gulf Business 2014 Salary Survey.

This decline, from $10,611 a month in 2013, to $10,392 a month in 2014, came as a result of lower average salaries for Western and Asian expatriates submitted by recruiters.

Western salaries were down 6.8 per cent, averaging $11,385 a month across all positions measured compared to $12,216 last year.

While Asian average wages were down 4.27 per cent, standing at $8,673 a month compared to $9,060 in 2013.

“Over the last two to three years, as people are leaving, companies are taking the opportunity to hire the same standard of worker but at slightly lower salaries,” said Ian Giulianotti, associate director HRM Consulting, Nadia, which participated in the survey.

Cost sensitivity was a major factor cited by several of the participating recruiters, with companies still engaging in restructuring and outsourcing to reduce overheads.

“Whilst demand drives a market upturn, talent supply remains relatively buoyant and strong. Employers continue to have cost at the forefront of their mind linking back to the previous overheated market and wage trend,” said Gareth Clayton, director of financial and professional services at Charterhouse Middle East.

In contrast to their peers, Arab expatriate salaries were found to have increased by 5.31 per cent, reaching $11,117 per month in the 2014 survey compared to $10,556 per month last year.

Regional instability is believed to be playing a role in this increase with more Arabs coming to the GCC from the Middle East’s trouble hotspots or countries bordering them.

“There has been an influx of well-qualified Arabs into the GCC, especially the UAE, and they are taking senior positions that were previously being held by European, and American nationals,” said Giulianotti.

Of these the two main groups cited by recruiters were Lebanese and Jordanian citizens, both looking to escape the impacts of war in neighbouring Syria.

“The Emirates and Doha are very attractive places for them,” added Giulianotti.

The 2014 Salary Survey was compiled based on inputs from four regional recruitment companies including Nadia, BAC Middle East, Adecco Middle East and Charterhouse.

For the full survey, pick up the March edition of Gulf Business, available now.

Also read: REVEALED: Top 10 Salaries In The UAE