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Tue 19 Feb 2008 12:00 AM

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Real estate agents cash in on boom

The real estate industry is building riches for its workers offering the best salaries in the region.

The GCC's real estate boom is paying off handsomely for many of its employees with one in five people working in the industry taking home six-figure pay checks, according to the ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey.

In total 20.3% of respondents to the survey working in the real estate industry take home a salary in excess of $100,000.

However real estate is not the most well remunerated industry in the GCC. It lies in fourth place behind the legal industry (27.9% of respondents earning over $100,000), banking (25.8%) and the finance and insurance (20.7%) industries.

Real estate does, however, lie first in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Saudi Arabia is the biggest employment market in the region and 29.4% of respondents from the sector in the country claimed a salary in the six figures.

Saudi has poured billions into its real estate project development with King Abdullah Economic City ranked as the most expensive commercial project on the Gulf's books at $80 billion dollars.

In Kuwait and Bahrain banking was by far and away the most highly remunerated field according to our survey, with 46% and 40% of respondents to the survey earning over $100,000 annually.

The UAE mirrored the GCC as a whole with the legal profession coming top. In total 35.48% of respondents said they earned a six figure salary, while 6.5% of respondents from the profession said they earned above $150,000.

Oman had very few respondents earning over $100,000 and clearly offers the lowest salaries in the region. Just 4.84% of respondents from the country earn a six figure salary. The region-wide mean is 28.7%.

The oil and gas (with 18.2% of respondents earning over $100,000) and the construction industries (16.52%), two of the largest industries in the region, both featured in the top third of the table for those earning $100,000 and above.

Across the GCC, travel and tourism, agriculture, and the hospitality industries were the most poorly remunerated with over half of employees in those fields earning less than $35,000 per year.

The most common salary range in the survey was $20,000-35,000, chosen by a total of 22.4% of respondents. Just over five percent of respondents to the survey earned over $150,000, 8.8% between $100,000 and $150,000 while 19.9% of respondents earned less than $20,000.

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