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Fri 14 Sep 2012 12:49 PM

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Expats urged to lower UAE salary expectations

Recruitment firm Robert Half says 39% of overseas candidates have unrealistic salary hopes

Expats urged to lower UAE salary expectations

Overseas candidates looking to work in Dubai anticipate salaries that exceed the market rate, according to new research by recruitment consultancy Robert Half UAE. 

The survey indicates that four in 10 (39 percent) overseas candidates have expectations for remuneration that surpass market conditions.

James Sayer, director of Robert Half UAE, said:“While the Dubai job market is showing strong signs of momentum, with increased salary and bonuses for existing employees, it is important for overseas candidates to develop a thorough understanding of prevailing market conditions before orchestrating such a significant move."

While nearly half (49 percent) of human resource directors said they believe that the number of overseas candidates has remained the same, one third (34 percent) feel that the number of expats decreased, citing lower compensation and tougher immigration regulations as the primary reasons, at 62 percent and 12 percent respectively. 

However 16 percent of respondents said that the number of expats has increased over the last three years, citing higher overall remuneration at 25 percent, the Eurozone crisis at 25 percent, lifestyle at 17 percent and local talent shortage at 17 percent as key factors.

Sayer added: "While opinions differ on the prevalence of overseas recruitment, what remains is the fact that Dubai is a major international city and we are competing on a global stage for the world’s most talented professionals.

"It is important for companies to provide attractive compensation and benefits packages that will not only entice candidates to consider Dubai as a great place to advance one’s career but also showcase the opportunities and lifestyle that make it a great place to call home."

In April, a survey by Towers Watson Middle East said companies in the UAE plan to increase employee salaries by about five percent this year.

Its Salary Budget Planning Report for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said salaries for UAE employees were likely to rise by about three percent above the rate of inflation.

It added that employees in Saudi Arabia will see the highest increases at six percent against an inflation rate for 2012 of 4.1 percent.

Towers Watson also said salary increases are expected to be consistent across the remaining Gulf States at between five and 5.5 percent. 

Chris J 7 years ago

The facts of life are that there is a real world outside the UAE paying real amounts of money with pleasant places to live and less frustration than was experienced by having multitudes of inept staff without training trying to keep the country afloat. Having been made redundant after living in the Gulf for many years, I was being offered less than 50% of my last salary to provide mentoring, coaching and growth to businesses at senior level. I loved being in the Gulf and assisting the rapid growth of companies, but being realistic, I decided to return to my home base. In my home base, I have been welcomed back into life with opportunities abounding. Remember that the companies in the Gulf are making the same profits but have chosen to decrease salaries for the western folks who provided the leadership and have instead chosen to recruit people from failed European countries to provide their future. It does make you wonder!!

RaOne 7 years ago

You get what you pay....

Edwin 7 years ago

As they say you pay peanuts and you get lazy monkeys who don't know the meaning of loyalty. You always get what you pay for whether it is between employer and employee or customer and product.

Navin Sharma 7 years ago

Western expat employees end up on the short end of the stick during recessionary periods. they like to believe they are sought after for their brilliant management and strategic skills but the fact is that they get run over by cheaper sub continental and now South African and Balkan imports as most barring a few in banking and airline senior positions have very little on offer other than sharp Powerpoint, basic trades and training skills.

realiste 7 years ago

oh dear.
People are getting into the Dubai Greed mode before they even come here.

British Expat 7 years ago

Pay peanuts get monkeys....! According the recent cost of living survey, Dubai is 22nd most expensive city to live, so inline with that we can expect people to reduce their salary expectations.

manie 7 years ago

No Social security, expensive to live,
attached to a property market that is inflated and that is why high salaries. School fees higher that most high level overseas schools, Only one month to relocate at end of contract. 6 days a week work, all is a pay for the salaries. and it is very costly.
If you don't get paid in this country you get into debts, that you can get into legal problems if you don't pay.
All is paid in advanced, no cash flow. No trust how can you expect commitment.

Vic 7 years ago

The moment "Bilionare owners" of companies like GEMS stop charging extortionate school feels for inferior schooling, to the so called "expat" community, they will possibly lower there salary package requirements.
The fee's these companies charge is higher than boarding and school fee's charged by some very reputable schools in other countries (Not sub continent). Unfortunately not all people like to send their kids away to boarding school, so we have to suck up the inferior/extortionate schooling on offer here...:(

Anand 7 years ago

Having noticed that salaries are decreasing and school fees always increasing along the high standard of living in the UAE, I have sent my children to complete their schooling and education back home otherwise it really serves no purpose to stay here without saving a paise.

mania 7 years ago

All is 2+2 GEMS is a mega company with profits that has grown to a fast speed, that do not happend in normal markets. Now these days after being changed from project to project and at a high cost and no holidays for the past 5 years. The new rule is not allowed to change jobs, well all is in line with the profit and that is it, my numbers don't add up. Unless there is a reasonable salary that will allow me to pay back (we do not have any protection when there is no continuation from a job even we are paying our taxes)and leave this country.So the truth is out there even when you say "high salaries"????!!!!