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Mon 5 Sep 2016 01:31 PM

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Average GCC salaries forecast to rise 4.7% in 2017

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait are expected to see highest salary increases, says Aon Hewitt survey

Average GCC salaries forecast to rise 4.7% in 2017

Salaries will increase by an average of 4.7 percent across the GCC in 2017, according to projections from professional services firm Aon Hewitt.

Saudi Arabia is expected to see the largest salary increase in the region – 4.9 percent, the research shows. Kuwait follows with a projected increase of 4.8 percent, then Bahrain with 4.7 percent, Oman and the UAE with 4.6 percent, and Qatar with 4.5 percent.

Aon Hewitt said the research is the largest study of its kind across the GCC – it surveyed 600 multinationals and locally-owned conglomerates.

The survey found that in 2016 the region saw an average salary increase of 4.3 percent – down from an anticipated 5 percent increase for the year based on the previous year’s report.

Bahrain saw the largest average salary increases in 2016, at 4.8 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia at 4.6 percent, the study showed.

The UAE followed with an average increase of 4.4 percent, followed by Kuwait and Oman with 4.3 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

Qatar saw the lowest average salary rise, at 3.6 percent, although the report notes that the outlook for 2017 is significantly higher (4.5 percent).

Sectors including pharmaceutical, media and food & beverage saw the highest salary increases across the region last year, while telecoms, construction and oil & gas saw the lowest – although salaries for the latter three are expected to rebound year-on-year in 2017.

The research added that, while 2016 proved to be a challenging period for economic expansion in some markets, policies governing inflation, taxation, diversification and commodity pricing are expected to come into effect and lead to an upswing in GCC salaries.

Meanwhile, the impact of lower oil prices and reduced public spending has not had the detrimental impact on salaries many expected, with most companies surveyed saying they intended to increase employees’ salaries this year and next, according to the research.

Robert Richter, GCC compensation survey manager at Aon Hewitt Middle East, said: “Lower oil prices are likely to continue moderating the GCC’s economic growth this year, but a refreshed focus on non-oil sectors along with sustained programs of state investment should underpin GDP expansion into 2017.”

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