Study reveals gulf between Dubai wage earners

Europeans have highest incomes, while labour camp workers earn AED21,000 a year.

The average annual income of a European working in Dubai is AED382,000, while a labour camp worker on average earns just AED21,000 a year, according to a survey by the Dubai Statistics Centre.

The latest Dubai expenditure and income survey reveals that individual earners in European households on average have the highest incomes, followed by UAE nationals with an income of AED324,000, Arabs with AED198,000, and Asians with AED141,000.

It also shows that households in Dubai spend 11.29 percent of total consumption expenditure on food, drink and tobacco, and 42.95 percent on housing and energy.

While leisure, entertainment and education accounts for eight percent of consumption in households in Dubai, labour camp individuals spend just one percent on this category.

The report highlighted that nationals primarily depended on income from salaries, wages, and bonuses, which made up 43.1 percent of their total annual income, followed by rental income, which accounted for 29.2 percent.

Meanwhile, income from salaries, wages, and bonuses for Arabs, Europeans, and Asians made up 79.4 percent, 89.1 percent, 80.8 percent of their total income respectively.

At the same time, 99.9 percent of labour camp individuals’ income came from salaries, wages, and bonuses.

“Data provided by the household income and expenditure survey is considered as one of the most important statistical data for generating social and economic development plans and programs that aim to improve societal welfare,” the report said.

The sample size of the survey was 4,031 households, representing two percent of the total number of households in Dubai.

National households made up 1,208 of household surveyed, while 2,159 were non-national and collective households numbered 664.

The sample of labour camps consisted of 246 camps, or 3,005 individuals, representing 21 percent of the total 1,177 labour camps, with a population of 476,733 individuals.

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Posted by: George Joseph

The guy is right - its quite unfortunate that we live in a world where proficiency in English is considered to be indicator of efficiency. In fact I hold the view that there is nothing surprising in an American or a Brit being proficient in the English language. After all , it is their native language and they need to be proficient in that at least. Look around different parts of the world , where a lot people do not know a word of English - but they would probably be a lot more efficient than my " proficient in Business English " friends. It is high time that two things happened - - Realization dawns that the British Empire on which the sun never sets is gone forever The local population in UAE realizes that they are basing their decision on products by looking ONLY at the packaging. I hope we do not have to endure any more of the carpenters who have come to the region and become production managers just beacuse they are from a particular nation. More despicable is the tendency to spew venom at the very nation that pays them more than twice of what they could have ever expected to earn in their home country. May good sense prevail !

Posted by: Jasvinder Singh

Again fake numbers! It seems parts and figures of survey have just been written out of nowhere. And they want people to digest this.....Come on Dubai Statistics Center, there are educated people in UAE just in case you forgot.

Posted by: Suresh

Perhaps Mr. Nicola does not realize that when you are taking an average you have to take total number of people involved. Yes if you take ONE laborer at 700/- Dhs. per month and ONE Engineer at 2800/- per month then the average will be Dhs. 1750/- as stated by the survey. But when you factor in that there may be one engineer earning 2800 /- pm. for every 100 laborers earning only 700/- pm then the "average" earnings comes down to 720/- pm. and that is the true picture !! I know for a fact that many laborers are earning even less than 700/- per month and many are working many more hours than those mandated by the labor department. And we all know that many do not even get paid on time. Herein lies the tragedy. The officials are more interested in churning out flattering numbers for public consumption and to impress their superiors than to genuinely attempt to make life easier for the poor and the illiterate.

Posted by: rao

Frank, I dont agree with you. I too in the recruitment business I have seen personally people loose jobs in construction and banking more than 1000 above for the past 2 months. I appreciate you feedback on the positive note but simultaneously when survey conducted it should be all the industries and also bule collars and white collars. Let us all work hard to overcome this crisis. crisis means problem and also crisis means an opportunity let us be positive. best of luck to everybody.

Posted by: The Consultant

Throughout the UAE's short history, whenever a story about salaries has been published in the media, it has always been the case that it will be followed by a flurry of letters (usually from South Asians) about how they do exactly the same job as a European and get paid much less, or how their boss is a European with lower qualifications than them. In my consulting work I have seen the HR records for a huge number of organisations operating here in the UAE over many, many years and heard this same complaint first hand. Nine times out of ten, the complainant is kidding themselves about their ability level. One recurring piece of nonsense is the idea that the complainant should be the manager because they consider their qualifications to be "better" than those of their boss. Anyone who thinks like this has very clearly demonstrated their total unsuitability for a managerial position. Another common claim is that a European gets twice as much for doing the same job. Usually, a careful comparison of the roles shows this is not the case. For example, many years ago when I started out as a junior consultant, I was paid (slightly) more than my Asian collegues in the same grade. However, there four of them and I was the only European. Why? Well, despite us all having comparable qualifications and experience, I was the only one who could write a report in business English that could be issued to clients without requiring substantial editing by the senior management. Inevitably, my (Indian) manager began passing all my collegues' reports to me for proof reading, as he didn't want to do this work and even he, with years of experience of writing these reports, was not confident that he could correct them properly. This is but one simple example; every situation is different, but people should remember that business leaders are not stupid, and will not pay anyone twice the salary of someone else just for the sake of their passport, there is almost always a reason, whether it be command of English or another language, specific and valuable experience, vision, leadership ability or even just the willingness and ability to take on particular responsibilities. There are many Asians in the GCC who have excellent salaries, just as good if not better than comparable European executives, and I have been privileged to work for and with many of them. Once again, there is almost always a valid reason for them being able to command their level of remuneration.

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