Firms offer free flats to keep staff

Trident International Holdings plans to build residential units for its employees to lower staff turnaround.  (SUPPLIED)

 

Salary hikes may look tempting, but not as much as free accommodation in Dubai. Real estate companies, who are finding ways to overcome the problem of the talent crunch in the market, are planning to retain and lure skilled professionals by offering free accommodation.

A few developers are considering the proposal and are looking at developing their own buildings that they will lease to their employees.

“Generally turnaround in real estate is faster than any other sector in town. But relatively we have had a lower turnaround due to our various staff retention policies. And one of the key components is providing employees with a housing facility. Very soon we will be having our own staff units,” Wazir Daredia, chief executive, Trident International Holdings, told Emirates Business.

Galadari Investment Office Chairman Rashid AW Galadari echoed the same sentiments, confirming that providing housing facilities can help in staff retention.

“One of the best ways to keep it [salaries] normal is to actually provide a housing facility or housing allowance. And we might look at providing housing facilities as well,” he said.

According to a study by University of Wollongong in Dubai, the real estate industry in the Gulf could face a shortage of qualified professionals as it witnesses an unparalleled boom.

Moreover, developers are finding it difficult to find skilled professionals, despite offering salaries and perks that were among the highest in the region.

In 2007, professionals working in the Middle East real estate sector saw their salaries rise by 14.5 to 22.1 per cent, Macdonald and Company, a leading professional recruitment consultancy, said in a survey.

“Any salary hike offered is less to match rising inflation and housing rentals. It is much better to offer accommodation, and presumably it will hold back employees,” said a real estate analyst.

“Moreover, the land is an asset for the companies and they can use it, in case, whenever they want to do so,” he added.

 

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