2012 pay rises predicted for key markets

Qatar, KSA and UAE could see 6% salary increase

Almost every company surveyed across Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE plans to increase salaries and recruitment in 2012, according to global HR consultancy Mercer.

Yet despite the positive results, business culture is becoming increasingly cautious, due to the uncertainty in global markets.

“Broadly, economic activity across the MENA region has been solid in most areas but confidence and optimism has been buffeted by pockets of social unrest, in what has been a period possibly unique in the Middle East in the modern era,” said Zaid Kamhawi, head of Mercer’s regional survey practice.

“Combine that with uncertainty about events in Europe and the US economy, and it is unlikely that 2012 will bring about any change in the short term, although as always there will be pockets of prosperity like here in the GCC,” Kamhawi added.

More than 300 firms from all industries were surveyed for the report, predicting average salary rises of 5.5% in the UAE and 6% in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In the UAE, the results also showed a remuneration gap between Abu Dhabi and Dubai remains with annual base salaries in Abu Dhabi averaging 7.5% more across all employee levels compared to Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, the average housing allowance is 21% higher.

There was also a gap between the salaries paid by local and international firms, with UAE firms paying an average 17% more than multinationals operating in the country.

“On average, base salary payments in the UAE are on par but in terms of allowances, the average difference is 44% higher in local firms,” said Kamhawi.

In Qatar that gap is even wider, with local companies paying on average 43% more than multinational companies. On average, the base salary gap is 26% and in allowances the average difference is 60%.


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