UAE Top Earners See Salaries Drop By

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Chief executives and managing directors of global companies are the top earners in the United Arab Emirates, according to a new survey.

Their monthly salaries average £16,407 a month compared to just under £12,000 earned by senior executives holding the same posts with local businesses.

The survey, by media group Gulf Business does show average salaries are down compared with the same time a year ago.

Then, executives working for multinationals earned an average £18,650 then, while local firms were paying an average £13,650.

Looking at salaries across the UAE, the average pay for a month is £6,125, while last year, the figure was £6,230, an average drop of 1.7%.

The figures were compiled from a round-robin survey of four leading recruitment agencies in the UAE.

Top 10 average salaries

The top 10 monthly salaries in The UAE are:

  • CEO/MD, multinational– £16,407
  • CEO/MD, local company – £11,926
  • Banking, treasury manager – £7,110
  • Construction, project manager – £6,987
  • Information Technology, manager – £6,565
  • Human Resources, manager – £5,932
  • Legal, lawyer marketer/manager –£5,800
  • Banking, branch manager – £5,565
  • Finance & Accounting, manager – £5,488
  • Healthcare, general practitioner/ manager – £5,480

Source: Gulf Business

One of the salary problems highlighted by the survey is that wages are not keeping pace with the cost of living, especially housing costs – and are falling back slightly.

“Dubai is a victim of success as rents continue to rise because of strong confidence in the economy and expected growth, but salaries are not reflecting this confidence and we are expecting a realignment of earnings with the cost of living over the coming year, “ said Gareth Clayton, director of financial and professional services at Charterhouse Middle East.

Inflation bites into pay

Recruiters estimate property prices in Dubai soared by between 15% and 50% in many neighbourhoods, but employers failed to match the rent rises with salary increases.

“We think many employers are waiting to see what to do with salaries when the effects of the preparations for the World Expo 2020 start to kick in,” said Clayton.

“Employers seem to be hanging back to wait and see if they have to enter a bidding war for the best talent. Nevertheless, salaries will have to increase as companies look for new recruits to manage the massive planned infrastructure projects leading up to the expo.”

The survey also noted Asian expat managers earned less than their Arab and Western counterparts doing the same job.

An Asian multinational CEO/MD is paid makes 23% less than his Arab counterpart and 18% less than a Western expat.

1 thought on “UAE Top Earners See Salaries Drop By”

  1. Rent increase 50%. Salary increase 5%. How can people like us survive in this situation. The government should do something about the rent increase. The landlords are forcefully asking the tenants to vacate and not to renew the contracts so that they get a new tenant who will pay the market rate. This is soooo wrong.


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