Salaries in the UAE are expected to go up in 2019, say HR and management consultancy firms, with one survey finding that the increases are expected to be implemented by 65% of organisations.
The study by Dubai-based organisational consultancy Korn Ferry has covered 600 organisations with 429,563 employees across major industries in the UAE.
About 65% of the surveyed organisations are budgeting for an increase in remuneration rates, the study found.
Harish Bhatia, regional director, Middle East & Africa, Korn Ferry, said, “65% of the organisations are forecasting an increase in salaries this year. The actual increases may be dependent on how the global, regional and local economies perform in the coming months.”
As of now, the salary increase forecast ranges between 2.5% and 4.5%, he explained.
The biggest boosts are expected in sectors including transportation, food and events.
Leith Ramsay, managing director of Korn Ferry, said: “The private sector still remains heavily reliant on major projects which drive hiring requirements across key sectors including financial services, energy, property and construction.”
“Tax-free salaries are no longer enough to attract and retain the best people,” Ramsay added.
According to Ramsey, while salary increases of 10-15% were considered typical earlier, “candidate expectations are now multi-layered… they want more detail about career development plans and organisational culture as well as flexibility, which has the same currency as salary for many candidates while the cost to organisations is negligible.”
Saudi Arabia also saw a similar forecast of increased salaries, in a study conducted by Cooper Fitch.
In the Kingdom, mid-level to senior salaries are estimated to increase by 5-6% in the Kingdom on average, a slight increase above the UAE estimate.