Complex Made Simple

Basic salaries in UAE rose only by 1.75% in 2019: NADIA GLOBAL survey

The implementation of VAT in 2018 has now been absorbed by the economy, and this combined with lower living costs has seen the annual inflation rate halved to 2% in 2019

Salary growth in Gulf countries and in the UAE, in particular, stalled in 2019 Continuing demand for jobs in digital transformation Jobs such as Personnel Manager, Proofreader, Translator, Manager fading away

Approximately 20 percent of UAE employees did not receive any pay increase in 2019, while basic salaries rose only by an average of 1.75%, a survey from recruitment agency Nadia Global said.

The 2019-2020 salary survey by Nadia Global, also revealed that the average staff turnover rose from 8 to 9%.

Read: Salary package and standard of living reasons why people come to the Middle East: report

“Salary growth in Gulf countries and in the UAE, in particular, stalled in 2019,” the report said. “We had forecast an average 5% rise in salary in 2019, in actuality we saw a maximum of 2% with an average of 1.75% being the norm. The continued   decline  in  rental   costs  and  freeze   on  education  fee   increases  being  the   two  deciding  factors  attributed   by  employers  in   their  remuneration  calculations.   The implementation of VAT in 2018 has now been absorbed by the economy, and this combined with lower living costs has seen the annual inflation rate halved to 2% in 2019,” it added.

Source: NADIA GLOBAL Salary Survey 2019-2020

Read: Projected salary increases of consecutive 4.5% in the UAE signal optimistic outlook for 2020

Ian Guilianotii, Executive Director, Recruitment and Executive Search at Nadia, said in the report that “while no one can accurately predict what future jobs are going to look like, we have a clearer view on the skills which will likely be required in the near future such as, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Complex Problem Solving, STEM,   SMAC  and  Interdisciplinary  Knowledge.   We see continuing demand for jobs in digital transformation roles. And we see some job requirements gradually fading away such as, Personnel Manager, Proofreader, Translator, Manager, PA/Secretary/Admin Clerks, Assembly and Factory Managers.”

Source: NADIA GLOBAL Salary Survey 2019-2020

Current Situation

Nadia, in its salary survey for 2018-19, had underscored its belief that the compensation and benefit landscape of the UAE was beginning to undergo a paradigm shift from the traditional ‘Expatriate type package’ to a total compensation based model. “This has taken effect at a quicker  pace   than  anticipated  due  to  the   current  economic  uncertainties   being  faced  both   regionally  and  globally, the report said. “2019 has been a year of challenge, regional conflict, oil price fluctuation, and worldwide trade wars have led to a level of uncertainty which local governments have tried to counter with a number of initiatives including long-term residency visas, as well as, relaxed foreign ownership laws to encourage foreign direct investment and small business growth. With Expo 2020 Dubai, the Saudi 2030 Vision and Aramco IPO, we may expect to see stronger economic growth on the horizon,” it added.