Salaries increased by an average of 5.5 per cent across all industries in the UAE during 2011 compared to 4.4 per cent the previous year, according to Towers Watson research.
“Next year, we expect pay increases to be approximately 0.5 percentage points higher than 2011,” said Billy Turriff, Business Leader for Data, Surveys and Technology at Towers Watson Middle East.
These finding were announced at the company’s annual Middle East HR Forum, where it also predicted that salaries in the UAE are expected to rise by a further 5.7 per cent in 2012.
According to Towers Watson, of the GCC countries in 2011 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had the highest average salary increase of 6.2 per cent, followed by Qatar (5.8 per cent), Kuwait and the UAE (5.5 per cent), Oman (5.3 per cent), and Bahrain (5 per cent). Egypt led the way in the MENA region with a 10 per cent growth, while Bahrain saw the smallest increase at 5 per cent.
The research shows private sector salary increases were higher overall in 2011 than the previous year, and the number of companies in the region freezing salaries dropped significantly compared to the previous two years.
“The data provides some interesting insights into rewards and compensation trends, particularly how salaries have continued to increase despite the economic and political turmoil that has affected many countries in the MENA region,” added Turriff.
“With overall remuneration levels increasing in 2011, more organisations are using bonuses and allowances to differentiate their rewards offerings against the competition,” he said.
The data quoted is based on a sample of over 20,000 employees working across 171 multinational and local companies.