Expats urged to lower UAE salary expectations

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Overseas candidates looking to work in Dubai anticipate salaries that exceed the market rate, according to new research by recruitment consultancy Robert Half UAE. 

The survey indicates that four in 10 (39 percent) overseas candidates have expectations for remuneration that surpass market conditions.

James Sayer, director of Robert Half UAE, said:“While the Dubai job market is showing strong signs of momentum, with increased salary and bonuses for existing employees, it is important for overseas candidates to develop a thorough understanding of prevailing market conditions before orchestrating such a significant move."

While nearly half (49 percent) of human resource directors said they believe that the number of overseas candidates has remained the same, one third (34 percent) feel that the number of expats decreased, citing lower compensation and tougher immigration regulations as the primary reasons, at 62 percent and 12 percent respectively. 

However 16 percent of respondents said that the number of expats has increased over the last three years, citing higher overall remuneration at 25 percent, the Eurozone crisis at 25 percent, lifestyle at 17 percent and local talent shortage at 17 percent as key factors.

Sayer added: "While opinions differ on the prevalence of overseas recruitment, what remains is the fact that Dubai is a major international city and we are competing on a global stage for the world’s most talented professionals.

"It is important for companies to provide attractive compensation and benefits packages that will not only entice candidates to consider Dubai as a great place to advance one’s career but also showcase the opportunities and lifestyle that make it a great place to call home."

In April, a survey by Towers Watson Middle East said companies in the UAE plan to increase employee salaries by about five percent this year.

Its Salary Budget Planning Report for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said salaries for UAE employees were likely to rise by about three percent above the rate of inflation.

It added that employees in Saudi Arabia will see the highest increases at six percent against an inflation rate for 2012 of 4.1 percent.

Towers Watson also said salary increases are expected to be consistent across the remaining Gulf States at between five and 5.5 percent. 

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Posted by: jonh

is this a joke?? European expats for the last 5 years are all leaving UAE because prices increase 30% and salary's lowered 40%, they call this a country of many races, but I only see Philippines, Indians and Pakistanis. I am next leaving next month, they want to pay me as a manager 7000 aed month for 14 hours work. 5 years ago they pay me 30000 month for 9 hours a day as a manager. I make more in Europe for sure, 40% of Europeans already left, Dubai will be the seen as the new India, until the prices increases, then they will leave too . then only Bangladeshi's will be left. and they want to lower the salaries. so Dubai in 50 years will be with be 17% or millionaire's. and 83% poor people . not a great way to see what they have marketing for years. why they talk about ceos, and the rest does not count, ceos,bankers,directors for big companies are paid well, otherwise they would not leave their country, how about the 90% of the underpaid staff in uae,starts to look like a poor country

Posted by: SAM

There is nothing wrong with people from India, Pakistan, Philippines and Bangladesh. I would gladly work with people from these countries than with racists like yourself. Adios.

Posted by: Simon G

Its not about "what the company can do for you", but its about
"what you can do for the company" .... as a boss I will pay one million+ AED a day if the employee earns me AED 3,000,000 a day ( or more ) why not ! if they earn it they deserve it :) we are all in business together.

every employee should think EVERY DAY ..... ' have I earned my salary today' ...... if you haven't expect the worst !

Posted by: Matt Williams

interesting so obviously my previous comment from DIRECT experience is open to censorship! or did I finger point at the wrong people. Seeing as its open season on Western expats again I find that to be very hypocritical AB

Posted by: The Consultant

Not sure how a year-old article about salary expectations morphed into an ill-informed and racist rant about western management, but my 2 cents:

There seem to be some people here who believe that seniority should be based on academic qualifications. This may be a great way of promoting people in a developing-world civil service or state-owned bank, but is less useful in an open market business environment, where commercial acumen and the ability to organise and manage the team are more important. Conversely, some of the most disastrous managers I have seen in my career have held MScs and Ph.Ds - brilliant subject matter experts promoted into an entirely unsuitable role.

Remember also that a westerner with a trade background may not be the same as a tradesman in your home country - at an absolute minimum they will have had 10+ years of primary and secondary education, followed by an extensive apprenticeship and probably 15+ years progressive work experience before coming here.

Posted by: Vino

I completely agree with Paolo and Shaheen. Most of the local clients I have dealt with not only in UAE but also in Oman agree in unison that western expats are given higher positions/salaries in the corporate world even though they could be a plumber or a mechanic from the so called "western world".

Posted by: Shirtl Iftar

Plumbers for your information are very well paid in the UK. Why would they come here?

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