UAE salary levels set to rise 5.1% in 2013: Survey

UAE salary levels set to rise 5.1% in 2013: Survey

16 November 2012

Employees in the UAE can look forward to an average salary increase of 5.1 per cent in 2013 if the findings of a survey are taken as an indication.

The UAE salary trends indicated by the survey are based on the input of 174 UAE companies that participated. Aon Hewitt, the global human resources business of the US-based Aon Company conducted the survey.

 According to Aon Hewitt’s annual Middle East Salary Increase Survey 2012, in the GCC, an average salary increase of 5.4 per cent was projected for 2013, the same as the projection made in 2011 for 2012, indicating that organisations continue to show confidence in the economic stability of the region.

In the Middle East, the survey gathered inputs from a robust comparator group of over 500 organizations from 26 sectors.

Aon Hewitt has been conducting the survey on an annual basis across the globe for 36 years and launched it in the Middle East for the first time in 2009. The survey is conducted in nine countries in the region, including: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

A 6.08 per cent salary increase was projected in 2013 for the Middle East as a whole and an average increase of 5.4 per cent for the GCC, the same as the projection made in 2011 for 2012.

The majority of organisations in the UAE gave salary increases based on employee performance, with pharmaceutical and chemical sectors giving a 5.8 per cent increase while the machinery and equipment sector gave only a 4.1 per cent increase.

Among the professional services sector, banks have provided the highest salary increase at 8.1 per cent while lowest increase was given by transportation, logistics and shipping services at only 2.5 per cent. Another salary survey this year conducted by and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, revealed that despite 44 per cent of employees having been unhappy with their last pay rise, more than half expect that salaries would increase in the UAE. More than half of the survey respondents believe that salaries in the UAE would increase either ‘marginally’ or ‘moderately’ with increasing opportunities and economic growth.

Martin McGuigan, head of Reward Consulting, Aon Hewitt Middle East said all macro-indicators have shown that the economic scenario continued to move in a positive direction with corporates continuing to show confidence in the 2013 economic outlook.

“At large, there are no further reductions in the salary increase projections for the next year which is good news for employees. We have also observed that organisations have increasingly been linking salary increases to performance, which is a healthy trend and indicates the increasing maturity level of the market,” he said.

The report also highlights that fewer organisations in the Middle East are thinking about salary freezes. Only 1.3 per cent of organisations in UAE have projected a salary freeze in 2013 compared to 4.1 per cent in 2012.

The major exception to this trend is Qatar where at least eight per cent of organisations have projected a salary freeze in 2013 against 2.4 per cent who froze salaries during 2012.

This may be attributed to the high salary increase given to Qatari National employees in 2011, with organisations now trying to induce market competitiveness to normalise the impact.

The survey shows that employees can expect 4.7 per cent salary hike in Bahrain, 5.8 per cent in Kuwait, 5.6 per cent in Oman, 5,6 per cent in Qatar, and 5.8 per cent in Saudi Arabia.


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