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The surge in business confidence is due to the UAE’s economic diversification plans coming to fruition.
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1. Salaries to go up: Experts predict that a majority of UAE organisations will increase salaries in the coming year. A recent report from Korn Ferry, for example, found that 65 percent of companies will have increases. These increases, the report noted, will range between 2.5 percent and 4.5 percent, depending on a variety on regional and global economic factors. Workers in some sectors such as F&B may see salaries go up by as much as 12 percent.
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2. Economic reforms begin to take hold: New rules announced by the UAE in 2018, including 100 percent foreign ownership and 10-year residency visas, have begun to be implemented and are expected to attract a significant number of new businesses to come to the country, in turn providing new employment opportunities. This will lead to an increase in job openings for workers in the UAE and will be more attractive for expats to live and work here.
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3. An attractive real estate market: Rents and sales prices are expected to continue to soften in 2019 in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as a resultant of significant amounts of new supply coming onto the market. With salaries increasing and rents going down, the cost of living is likely to go down for some UAE residents. Generally low rents are also expected to help many UAE residents ‘move up’ in terms of size, quality and location.