Salary forecast for UAE employees in 2017

2016 was a challenging year for the job market in the UAE, which leaves many optimistic that 2017 will be different. So what are your chances for getting a pay rise or bagging a new job this year? Let’s look at the stats…

According to recruitment company Hays, the majority of employers across the GCC expect their employees’ their salary remain the same or increase by a small amount (less than five percent).

Some will be luckier, with 43 percent of companies who are expecting some salary changes predicting a five percent wage increase. It seems that only 12 percent are expecting to see significant changes of between five to ten percent.

For an unlucky few (two percent), it looks like a pay cut could be on the horizon this year.

Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays, Gulf Region, explained: “Workforce salaries are one of the single biggest costs for employers and, given the challenging economic climate of the past twelve months, it is simply not viable to offer company-wide pay rises. Instead, we have seen added focus to be on individual performance related pay, which typically amounts to a lower spend for employers than company-wide pay increases.”

If that sounds like bad news to you, things are actually on the up, and Hays are forecasting that things will get better.

“While this statistic may be viewed with some disappointment from employees, we are confident that the market is on the way up. Cost cutting exercises, such as company restructuring and redundancies, in response to low energy prices have already taken place. Many organisations are operating on minimum staff levels and are in a strong position to hire additional headcount in order to meet their 2017 business objectives,” Greaves said.

And there’s some even better news. It seems that 72 percent of employers are planning on hiring additional staff in 2017, compared to 37 percent in 2016. After a relatively slow period for the job market, it seems that more opportunities should be opening up soon.

“Specific roles we have noticed to have increased in demand include: cyber security professionals, who can proactively guard against threats to company property; online payment experts, in order to get the region up to speed with other global economies already invested in this; C-suite executives, to fulfil business objectives; as well as marketing content specialists, to build brand awareness and reputation,” he added.

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