Following an overall decrease in average salary of two per cent in our 2014 survey, pay packets returned to form this year with significant growth seen across the board.
Average salary across all countries, positions and racial groups in our list rose 7.88 per cent, increasing from $10,392 a month to $11,211 a month.
On a country-by-country basis, growth was also seen on average across the board.
In Bahrain, combined average salaries rose by 4.43 per cent, while Saudi Arabia and Qatar saw growth of seven per cent and 7.74 per cent respectively. Oman saw similar gains of 7.9 per cent, while in the neighbouring UAE, a significant 9.97 per cent increase was seen.
Standing at the top of our survey for growth, however, was Kuwait, with average salary for expat professionals rising 10.19 per cent.
THE RACIAL DIVIDE
The gap between Western and Asian expats decreased again in this year’s survey, although only very slightly, with Westerners earning 26.91 per cent more on average.
More progress was also seen between Arab and Asian salaries with the former earning 20 per cent more on average in this year’s survey compared to 24.69 per cent last year.
However, there was a noted widening in the gap between Western and Arab expat salaries, with Westerners gaining ground at 6.96 per cent more on average in the 2015 survey.
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THE OIL QUESTION
While the sliding global oil price has been a talking point for businesses across the region in recent months, recruiters point to a mixed impact on jobs and salaries.
On one hand, lower oil prices have had an immediate effect on some areas of the oil and gas industry, particularly oilfield services companies that employ a large contract and flexible workforce, said Thomas Bennett, managing consultant for Oil & Gas at Charterhouse Middle East.
“They will shed this workforce on mass and then when they pick up more work, they can hire them back on lower rates because of the uncertainty in the market,” he said.
But equally for project-focused companies, the impact is expected to be less profound, with no immediate difference and salaries remaining largely the same.
IS YOUR WALLET GETTING FATTER?
As usual, those looking for a major payday on the horizon are likely to find themselves disappointed, despite some impressive increases in this year’s survey.
Our recruiters gave varying forecasts for salary increases in the year ahead, but none of them were in the double digits.
The 2015 Salary Survey was compiled based on inputs from regional recruitment companies including Nadia, Charterhouse and Michael Page.