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Mon 13 May 2013 12:55 PM

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Locals paid more than us, moan GCC expats - poll

Study reveals that almost half of residents believe citizens are better paid than them

Locals paid more than us, moan GCC expats - poll
Emirati men, Dubai, UAE nationals and expats. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly half of all expats in GCC nations claim that nationals are paid better salaries than them, according to the findings of a poll.

The survey by jobsite Bayt.com found that 46 percent of residents in the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait believe nationals of these countries are paid more, while a third (35.6 percent) claim governments lean on their employers to encourage them to hire more citizens.

Nationalisation of the workforce is a key policy in countries including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where citizens of subcontinental and western nations vastly outnumber locals.

In the UAE, nationals are said to make up less than 1 percent of private sector employees and unemployment runs at 14 percent.

The Bayt.com study also found that more than half of respondents (52 percent) believed that GCC governments’ nationalisation programmes were effective, with 42 percent stating that Gulf citizens were given support by authorities in terms of finding a job.

Last year, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum called on the country’s private sector to contribute more in terms of hiring locals.

“I call on my colleagues in the private sector that have benefited greatly from this country to extend a helping hand in the process of Emiratisation, even in a tiny percentage, to make a contribution to growth of this country,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohammed revealed plans for a project to employ 120,000 UAE nationals, but did not give any further details of the timeline or specifics.

The Dubai ruler, who is also vice president of the oil-rich UAE, declared 2013 the ‘Year of Emiratisation’. As part of the initiative, events will be held to offer “opportunities for young Emiratis seeking to join the UAE labour force”.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Plain speaker 7 years ago

No sane expats will 'moan' that locals are paid more than them! It's their country and it is laudable that their rulers take good care of them. Nothing there to crib about, maybe the expat can 'moan' that their governments care so little about their welfare! However there maybe a case for legitimate grevience when there is no accountability or supervision for the local and the expat has to work extra to finish the local's work also! I wouldn't generalize but this maybe true is some cases. This creates resentment which shouldn't be construed as 'moaning'!