By Gavin Gibbon
Strategy and consulting sectors in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to see biggest wage increases
Employees in the strategy and consulting sector in the UAE can expect a five percent pay rise in 2020, according to the 2020 UAE Salary Guide by Cooper Fitch.
While the investment management, manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors will see a modest two percent increase.
But it’s bad news for staff working in accounting and finance, with a predicted three percent decrease in wages to new hires as a result of a lull in business activity amid challenging economic conditions over the last 12 months.
Trefor Murphy, Cooper Fitch founder and chief executive officer said he is 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.
According to the International Monetary Fund, non-oil growth in the country could exceed one percent in 2019 and pick up to around three percent in 2020, the fastest since 2016, on the back of Dubai Expo 2020 and fiscal stimulus.
However, Murphy revealed that staff retention, coupled with stiff competition from the public sector, incoming technological changes and neighboring 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 neighboring countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, the salary guide predicts a three percent increase on average across all sectors in Saudi Arabia due to the profound changes underway in the kingdom, which are keeping salaries stable or rising across most industries.
This includes a six percent growth in salaries in the strategy and consulting sector, five percent in investment management and sales and marketing, and accounting and finance four percent.
Advisory, banking and financial services, legal and investment management and public sector roles are expected to increase market-rate salaries by three percent.