By Sam Bridge
Recruitment firm Cooper Fitch predicts salary increases in the UAE and Saudi Arabia for next year
Salaries will remain broadly flat during 2020 following a spate of restructurings and mergers that have jolted workforce hirings and compensation this year, according to a new report.
In its 2020 Salary Guide, Cooper Fitch predicts that UAE salaries will remain broadly unchanged across most sectors over the next 12 months while salaries in Saudi Arabia are set to rise on average by 3 percent.
However, the report also singles out specific industries that are poised to experience the most significant market-range salary increase for 2020.
Salaries in the strategy sector are expected to grow by five percent while those in the investment management, manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors will see a modest increase of about two percent.
Trefor Murphy, Cooper Fitch founder and CEO, said he was optimistic that despite the marginal salary increases, the UAE’s development projects would significantly boost the job market and create fresh revenue streams in the months ahead.
However, he added that staff retention coupled with stiff competition from the public sector, incoming technological changes and neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia are some of the key challenges organisations in the UAE will be facing.
“Marginal salary increases notwithstanding, the ongoing multi-million-dollar infrastructure, real estate, tourism and entertainment projects in the UAE are a big boost to the job market. Organisations are, however, still finding it difficult to retain top talent some of whom are increasingly joining the public sector or looking for greener pastures in neighbouring countries,” said Murphy.
The report also predicts a three percent increase on average across all sectors in Saudi Arabia in 2020, driven by the profound changes underway in the kingdom, which are keeping salaries stable or rising across most industries.
According to Murphy, competition for top-tier Saudi national talent is applying pressure on market-rate salary ranges.
“Saudi Arabia is slowly emerging as the go-to market for employment due to its steadily increasing salaries being experienced across key sectors. Driven largely by the country’s efforts to rejuvenate commerce and culture, state entities’ privatisation exercise and reforms have made it easier to set up new businesses and attract foreign capital, which has in turn significantly improved the job market,” he added.