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21 April 2024

Hot jobs: Why UAE’s banking sector will see fast rise in salaries

By Shuchita Kapur

If you are looking for more job options, better pay and timely increments, try your luck in accounting, finance or any other sub-domain of the financial services industry in the UAE.

And this is why you should be looking at roles in these areas. Firstly, there will be more jobs available in the coming months and salaries have obviously been rising and are predicted to grow this year as well.

Latest findings by recruiters Robert Half UAE show that professionals across accounting and finance profession, as well as the financial services industry, will see strong job prospects as senior executives in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are confident about the job market.

Senior executives plan to increase or maintain current staff levels over the next six months, says the research from Robert Half UAE. Hiring within accounting and finance will remain buoyant in the first half of 2014, with nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) CFOs expecting hiring increases and over half (56 per cent) filling vacated positions.

The key driver for hiring for accounting and finance professionals will be new projects / initiatives (57 per cent), followed by product or service expansion (54 per cent) and domestic business growth (43 per cent).

To prove the point, the recruitment firm has some more figures. Within financial services, one in three (33 per cent) senior leaders plan to recruit new permanent staff in the first half of 2014, with a further 60 per cent maintaining current levels. With a mere 7 per cent planning to freeze staffing levels by not filling vacated positions and not creating new ones, there are no companies looking to make redundancies.

When asked for the top three reasons behind planned increases in the number of permanent financial services professionals, more than seven in 10 (72 per cent) selected new projects / initiatives as their top priority for hiring. This was followed by product or service expansion (56 per cent) and new market penetration (48 per cent).

Morgan McKinley, another recruitment firm, believes professional job opportunities will rise by 8-10 per cent across the MENA with “banking and financial services sector experiencing buoyant employment levels.”

A previous report by Robert Half also stated that “the accountancy and finance market continues to benefit from the region’s growth and companies continue to face a talent shortage of accounting and finance professionals across all levels and disciplines. They are looking for a mix of solid education, experience and technical skills, supplemented with effective soft skills, including collaboration and communication capabilities.”

Online portal Bayt.com sees roles within accounting/banking/finance as one of the fastest growing in the country.

A recent survey by the portal shows that banking and finance is a preferred industry by UAE professionals to be in after oil and gas and construction.

On salary and compensation, those in such roles will fare better and employers will have to revise the salaries to keep talent from moving out.

“Apart from a few exceptions, private sector employers are striving to ensure that compensation packages strike the balance between being attractive enough to retain talent and sustainable enough for them to continue operating at a profitable level.

“Education allowances reflect the increase in the actual cost of schooling, but are being capped; housing allowances still reflect – but do not track – the price increases in the real estate market.

“We predict that 2014 will see a sustained increase in salaries as UAE employers will benefit from a much larger and more flexible talent pool than was found here between 2005 and 2008,” says a report by Morgan McKinley.

And, along with salaries, bonuses should be attractive enough. James Wakefield, Regional Director at Cobalt Recruitment believes financial services is one sector where it is most likely that bonuses are given in the current scenario.

“Financial services will, as always, be the sector in which bonuses are especially prevalent,” he says but other than that “paying of bonuses very much depends on the company.”

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)