Nearly half of UAE residents say salaries are on the rise
June 5th, 2017, Antonia Stockwell

Nearly half of UAE residents say salaries are on the rise

The Salary Survey reveals sentiments about salaries, savings, and spending

The 2017 Middle East and North Africa Salary Survey, conducted by YouGov and, the Middle East’s number one job site, revealed that almost half (44%) of UAE respondents believe that salaries are increasing in their country of residence, while 24% believe that they have stayed the same.

In 2016, 44% of respondents in the UAE claimed they received a pay increase, of whom 49% were very happy or modestly happy with their raise. While 48% of those surveyed did not receive a pay rise, 52% of respondents in the UAE expect to receive one in 2017.

According to respondents, factors causing salaries to increase include good corporate performance/increased profitability (33%), inflation / rise in the cost of living (32%), and growth in opportunities and economic growth in the country (28%).

Currently more than half (58%) of those surveyed in the UAE receive a basic salary as well as benefits in their compensation package. Almost one in five (18%) of those surveyed actually receive their basic salary plus benefits and commission. Just under a quarter (24%) of respondents only receive a basic salary.

Of those receiving additional benefits, personal medical insurance (52%) was the top benefit received, followed by personal annual ticket (37%), and a transportation allowance (30%).

When it comes to end of service benefits in the UAE, 63% stated that their company offers an end-of-service gratuity, and 10% claim they will receive a pension on retirement. 7% claim to have other forms of benefits. However, 24% of respondents state that they do not receive any end of service benefits.

21% of UAE respondents claim that their loyalty is completely linked to the salary they earn, while nearly one third (31%) claim that salary it is not linked to loyalty at all. Besides salary, opportunities for career advancement (34%) and the nature of daily responsibilities (33%) emerged as the most important factors driving employee loyalty in the UAE.

When it comes to equal pay, while four in ten respondents (40%) claim they “Don’t know/can’t say”, a large proportion (35%) believed that men and women are paid equally for doing the same work and in the same position.

Considering the cost of living in the UAE, a fifth (19%) of respondents have seen their living costs increase between 6% and 10%. Respondents claim to have seen an increase in their rent (74%), food and beverage (59%), and utilities (57%). Another 36% of respondents say they have also experienced increases in education, and 32% mentioned entertainment as one of the cost increases. When it comes to the future, the majority (71%) of respondents believe that the cost of living in the UAE is going to increase in 2017.

That being said, 64% of respondents in the UAE still manage to save a portion of their income and 63% manage to repatriate a portion of their salary to their home country.

Elissavet Vraka, Research Manager, YouGov, said: “It is interesting to note that 64% of UAE respondents manage to save a portion of their monthly income, with 63% of those living outside their home country being able to repatriate a portion of their savings to their home country. This is a good sign for both employers and job seekers, as the ability to save and repatriate savings can impact other factors such as employee satisfaction and loyalty towards the company.”

Over half of UAE respondents (55%) claim that they are planning on finding a better job in the same industry within the next 12 months, while 45% stated that they will be looking for a better job in a new industry. Only 15% of UAE respondents will look for a better job in a different country in the Middle East.

Data for the 2017 Middle East and North Africa Salary Survey was collected online from March 23rd to April 9th, 2017. Results are based on a sample of 3,879 respondents who live in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.