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UAE Salaries Not Keeping Up With Inflation- Report

UAE Salaries Not Keeping Up With Inflation- Report

Remuneration trends in fields such as finance and accounting, financial services, information technology, legal, HR and administration has risen marginally, says new report.

Average salaries in the UAE for professional roles rose by just two per cent over the last 12 months in the UAE even as inflation stayed at 3.1 per cent, according to the Robert Half 2015 salary guide.

The salary guide consists of remuneration and recruitment trends in fields such as finance and accounting, financial services, information technology (IT), legal, HR and administration.

The guide also showed that the demand for specialist occupations far outweighed the supply in the UAE, resulting in talent shortages. Hiring challenges have further intensified due to improved employment prospects in the UK and the US, resulting in fewer expats to the region.

“Despite strong demand and short supply, companies are still only offering modest salary increases and are finding that they are unable to attract the right talent to fill critical roles,” said Gareth El Mettouri, associate director, Robert Half UAE.

“Businesses still hope that expatriate recruitment will bridge the talent shortfall, but this is proving challenging as global economies improve and many of the professionals who were attracted to the Middle East during the downturn are finding appealing opportunities at home.

“Firms are stepping up efforts, conducting remote interviews and accommodating relocation efforts while others are making offers within weeks of an expatriate’s arrival.”

Hiring activity in the UAE did face a brief lull following the recession, but has picked up again, the report said.

Among sectors, accounting and finance recruitment has returned to pre-recessionary levels with companies expanding their teams and investing in new initiatives while staying focused on their risk and compliance activities.

According to UAE CFOs, 43 per cent plan to increase finance team salaries for existing staff by an average of six per cent. In terms of bonuses, 27 per cent will increase and 51 per cent will maintain the same levels, the survey said.

Meanwhile, hiring in financial services has stabilised over the last year after a period of aggressive recruitment from the expansion of financial firms and with new entries to the market.

In sectors such as IT, companies continued to invest to find the best talent, the survey said. Moreover investment in tech start ups and other businesses along with a rise in investment by non-technology firms in IT services has led to growth in hiring in the sector.

Strong economic growth across the region has also led to an increase in demand for human resources professionals, Robert Half said.

In line with that, more than four in 10 (43 per cent) HR directors indicated that they will be increasing salaries for existing staff while many companies are offering perks such as flexible working, subsidised training and additional annual leave.

In addition, specialist administrative roles are gaining traction as are positions of senior-level executive and personal assistants as well as office management functions, the report added.

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