21% of UAE Professionals Expecting Raise of 15% or More, According to Bayt.com and YouGov Survey
June 12th, 2013, YouGov

21% of UAE Professionals Expecting Raise of 15% or More, According to Bayt.com and YouGov Survey

The 2013 Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey, conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has revealed that 67% of UAE respondents believe that their current salary is lower than that of other companies in their industry, with only 3% stating a high level of satisfaction with their current remuneration. Eight in 10 believe that the cost of living will continue to increase.

About the Respondents

A quarter of the survey’s UAE respondents (25%) have been in their current career path for up to three years. Almost a third (29%) have spent up to one year with their current employer, while 30% have been with them for four-seven years. Four in 10 (38%) have one-five people currently reporting to them, and 37% oversee six or more employees. The majority of survey respondents are either midway (39%) or fairly senior (31%) in their position.

Most UAE respondents have held either one (26%) or two (38%) jobs in the past five years. The majority claim that they spend on average between one-three years in a job, though 23% held a position for at least six years.

The preferred pay structure in the UAE is 100% fixed-pay, according to 63%, with the more preferable incentives being those that are performance-based (62%), or professional training and development courses (41%). Commission for business or revenue generated (25%) and holiday allowances or foreign trips (25%) are also popular.

Respondents’ Current Package

In terms of their current salary, a fifth of UAE respondents (20%) receive their basic salary only, while 65% receive their basic salary plus benefits. A third (33%) state that 51-75% of their salary package is their basic monthly salary. Additional benefits received from UAE companies include personal medical insurance (50%), personal annual air ticket (46%), and gratuity (33%).

The majority (50%) of UAE professionals state medium satisfaction with their current salary, with only 3% claiming high satisfaction.

Salary Comparisons and Expectations

The overwhelming sentiment in the UAE is that the salaries received by respondents in their current companies are lower than other companies in their industry (according to 67%), with 44% claiming that they did not receive a raise in 2012. The majority of those who did receive a pay increment were given 1-5% (21%), but 48% are unhappy with the amount received.

In 2013, UAE respondents are torn with regards to receiving a raise: 27% expect to receive up to 15% and 21% expect to receive more than 15%, while 28% do not expect anything.

Cost of Living and Savings

More than half (53%) of UAE respondents state that their cost of living increased by more than 15% in 2012. They believe this is mostly due to increased rents (80%), rising food and beverage costs (69%), and education fees (38%). Eight out of 10 (78%) believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in 2013.

Four in 10 (37%) UAE respondents save up to 15% of their monthly personal income; a third (32%) repatriate 15% or more.

“The results of the 2013 Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey suggest that salaries are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living in the UAE. This is a general trend across the Middle East that companies must begin to address; in doing so, they will be able to contribute to building employee loyalty and satisfaction, and will have the opportunity to reduce the number of employees looking to change jobs within the next year,” said, Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “The Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey is an annual study that reveals the levels of satisfaction and factors effecting as much across the Middle East and North African region. This information is vital for employers and job seekers in the region, in order to gauge individual country situations and make informed, empowered career and life decisions.”

“Drivers of loyalty in particular are areas that employers in the region should consider, in order to slow what would seem to be a very transient workforce. Employees across the MENA region seem overall dissatisfied with their current packages and the rising cost of living; if the two do not draw closer, then there could be potential economic difficulties in the coming years,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.

Perception of Salaries in the Country and Quality of Life

When asked whether salaries are increasing or decreasing in their country of residence, 28% of UAE respondents said that they are ‘increasing marginally’, with an additional 28% stating they are ‘increasing moderately’, and 19% state that they are staying the same. Factors causing salaries in the UAE to increase are considered to be inflation and the rising cost of living (54%), growth in opportunities and economic growth (39%), and good corporate performance (17%). Reasons for salaries not increasing are seen to be the poor economy (29%), poor corporate performance and profitability (23%), and more top talent than available jobs (23%).

UAE respondents believe that they enjoy a standard of life that is mostly either on par with or above the standard of other residents in the same generation; 39% state that their standard of living is ‘about average’, 27% claim to be ‘somewhat better off’, and 17% are ‘much better off’.

Six in 10 (60%) respondents intend to look for a better job in the same industry in the next 12 months, while 42% will look for a better job in a different industry and a fifth (18%) will look to other Middle Eastern countries for better jobs. This is likely because 31% of respondents believe that there is an excess supply of talent in the UAE.

Drivers of Loyalty

Loyalty to their current company is mostly driven by the salary UAE respondents receive – 47% believe that their loyalty is 70-100% linked to their remuneration. Other variables that strongly drive loyalty in the UAE are opportunities for long-term career progression (35%), the respondents’ line manager (32%), and colleagues and work environment (32%).

Data for the Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey, May 2013, was collected online from April 28 – May 5, 2013. Results are reported on a base of 15,247 respondents. Countries that participated are UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.