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Tue 19 Feb 2008 12:00 AM

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Two-thirds of Gulf staff looking to quit job

ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey reveals sharp decline in job loyalty across GCC.

Gulf businesses face a tough year ahead trying to retain staff, with more than two-thirds of employees indicating they are more likely to leave their job this year than in 2007, the ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey has revealed.

Data from the first annual survey shows a sharp decline in job loyalty across the GCC, led by Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Almost three-quarters of employees in Oman said that were more likely to quit their job this year, with only 14% saying they were more likely see the year out in their present position.

In Saudi Arabia 67% of employees said they were looking for another job, while in the UAE the figure stood at 68%.

Bahrain registered the highest level of company loyalty, but over half of employees still said they planned to look for other work this year, compared to just 22% that said they were more likely to stay put.

The attractiveness of the GCC for expatriate workers has taken a hammering over the last 24 months due to the rising cost of living and weakening of Gulf currencies linked to the tumbling US dollar.

Inflation surged to record highs across the Gulf last year, hitting 14% in Qatar, 7.6% in Oman, 6.2% in Kuwait, 6% in Saudi and 4.9% in Bahrain.

Inflation hit a 19-year high of 9.3% in the UAE in 2006, the last official figure. Some analysts have predicted inflation in the Emirates could surge to 12% this year due to soaring real estate prices and the weakening dollar.

The dollar hit record lows against major global currencies last year, dropping almost 12% against the euro and the Indian rupee, and 2.8% against the British pound.

According to the salary survey, workers from India and Pakistan were particularly dissatisfied with their current employment, with 70.6% and 65% respectively saying they were more likely to quit their jobs this year.

Only 14.6% of Indian and 16% of Pakistani workers said they were less likely to switch jobs.

Further to the top of the table in the UAE, however, were French (77%), German (74%) and South African (71%) workers, while in Saudi Arabia expatriates from the UK edged subcontinent workers as more likely group to seek a new job in 2008.

Less than 15% of UK workers in Saudi said they were less likely to transfer companies this year.

Get interactive: Why do people want to leave their job?

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