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Wed 18 Jul 2007 02:34 PM

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GCC pay is best in world for senior execs

Managers in Saudi Arabia and UAE have highest disposable incomes in the world.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are providing senior managers with the highest disposable incomes in the world, according to research by management consultancy Hay Group.

The World Pay Report examines not only the salaries and benefits for executives, but also compares the cost of living and taxation system in each country to come up with a figure for disposable incomes.

Saudi Arabia came first in the list with average disposable incomes for managers of $229,325 per year. The UAE came second with disposable incomes of $223,939.

In comparison, the United States came 24th with management incomes of less than half those in the Gulf States at $104,905. India came 36th with incomes of $92,750, and the UK came 40th with incomes of $86,367.

"Senior managers in Saudi and the UAE enjoy soaring levels of take-home pay, as employers in this region pay more attention to salaries rather than performance-based incentives," said Vijay Gandhi, Reward Information Services Manager for Hay Group Dubai.

"As demand for experienced senior managers remains high, however, companies in the region are looking more closely at the use of long-term incentives as a way of attracting and retaining international talent."

Tax-free incomes considerably boost the disposable income levels in the oil-rich states, the report added.

But while the wealth of senior managers is soaring in the Gulf, lower income groups are suffering lower than inflation pay rises, according to Hay Group.

A Hay Group report in March entitled Global Pay Day Analysis, found that the UAE had the worst salary rises after inflation in the world for administrative and professional workers. Pay rises of 5% were recorded across all pay grades, but with inflation taken into account, salaries in the UAE actually fell by 2.3%.