By Gavin Davids
The Gulf state is failing to keep pace with surging salaries in India, says head of business council
The UAE will struggle to retain its huge Indian workforce if it fails to keep pace with rising salaries in Asia, the head of a Dubai-based Indian Business & Professional Council has said.
Employers in the Gulf state will need to keep pace with wages in India, where salaries surged 11.1 percent last year on rising economic strength, to retain talent, said Paras Shahdadpuri.
Minimum wages for unskilled foreign workers in the UAE are as low as AED600 a month, with skilled workers receiving AED1,200 a month, according to the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi.
“I think this a very good move honestly. I think people are paid very low. AED600, tell me, is that really fair?” said Shahdadpuri, who is also chairman of electronics firm Nikai Corporation.
“I think it’s extremely low and that’s why productivity is less and that’s the reason good quality workers will not come abroad. They’re making better money in India and they can spend time with their families and live there.”
The Indian Ambassador to the UAE was reported as saying the government plans to enforce a minimum wage for Indian nationals hoping to work in the UAE.
If approved, the ruling will mean workers only receive immigration clearance from India if their employment contract meets with a set minimum wage.
Gulf employers are already learning to compete with India’s economic growth. A survey by GulfTalent earlier this month showed Asian professionals in the Gulf saw a 6.1 percent jump in their pay packets last year, compared to just 3.2 percent for Western professionals.
Shahdadpuri said wages must improve if the UAE is to continue to attract expatriates.
“If we continue to give foreign workers the same wages that they were being given in previous years, you may not get quality employees here,” he said.
“You’ll get trash that is not good for the name of India and not good for this country to import. If you want quality employees, you need to fall in line with what’s available in India and you need to better that income for them.”
Enforcement of a realistic minimum wage for foreign workers would go some way towards cutting down employment disputes, he added.
“They [the UAE government] would like to see a worker who is not exploited, who is paid according to his agreement. There’ll be less labour disputes, less headaches and lesser court cases. It is in the interest of the UAE government that employers abide by the [proposed] law.”
Yes, It is a very good move provided the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Protector-General of Emigrants and finally the Govt.of India take some very serious interest and action NOW. Moreover, it should be strictly enforced with the involvement of Recruitment Companies in India.
I believe this is the need of the hour. If you require better human capital, you need to spend more money. AED 600 is too low and I know of few workers who earn double this amount while in India, plus a better working conditions sans any debt. This is a good step.
Better to make a career in India than go home empty handed after working hard here all your life.
A very commendable decision by the Indian government- not the least influenced by fact that, India faces a huge shortage of skilled and semiskilled bluecollared workers.
This will be more apparent if the current political stability will hold and promote increased activity in the Infrastructure sector in the coming decade
It is time gulf states started giving jobs to locals, Arabs and Muslims first. if the Indians feel that the wages are too low they can go back to India.
And the bigotry begins - btw, a number of Indians are Muslims as well.
On another note, having worked closely with recruitment teams bringing people from the subcontinent, the problem with debts starts in the home country by unscrupulous agents - why aren't the governments tackling these fellows - oh, wait, they get brown envelopes, their taxes are paid, and all that other good stuff. What a fantastic thing democracy is.
Why should one pay pay more for little performance? The level of services and skills, the profitability and durability of workers from the subcontinent is simply too low to pay more. If one does better, works more or does make a difference, one earns more. As simple as that. For higher salaries we would be able to pay better skilled workers from all over the world and reach higher quality standards. And if an expat worker has better chances back home, why would he go abroad?
Wow. So much of hatred...Would you have any slightest idea to what would happen if all Asians in the Middle East relocated! The economy will collapse gentleman! Just for your Information, we built these countries that you are now proud of! This kind of attitude will take you no where!!! Have the right attitude and other than SKILL SETS nothing else will take you nowhere. At least open your eyes now and live in the reality.
UAE, that relies on expat workforce so much, will have a more secured future if job market is governed by skillsets and value-based placements rather than geographic and religion-based which is what you are suggesting. I hope no one takes you seriously!!
I agree with you bilal ashrawi.
It is now the right time for Gulf Leaders to reflect on reality regarding what is happening in Middle East. Local people have no jobs because the Indians are working with low salaries in whatever sector of the economy. It is better to limit the visas of Indian worker as what Qatar had been doing and give jobs to the locals at higher pay than the Indians. This will assist the locals in living with dignity and respect.
The government must hire other nationalities willing to train the locals to work with dignity and self confidence since the Indians will never train locals to take over the Indians jobs someday.