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04 October 2023

UAE employees set for a salary-hike in 2013

By Shuchita Kapur

Much on the lines of last year, employees in the Middle East can expect an average 5.4 per cent raise in pay for 2013. Those working in the UAE can see a 5 per cent rise in their personal income this year, according to the latest total remuneration survey conducted by Mercer.

The findings suggest that the pay rise will be more than the inflation, which means real income for the workforce but does not mark any significant changes in pay hikes from last year.

The hikes have been constant over the past couple of years indicating relative economic stability and mature business environment. Hikes are always welcome news but the double-digit pay hikes for many in the UAE still remains a distant dream.

“Estimations for inflation are lower than this figure, which means the predicted increases will result in a real pay growth for the working population – a clear reflection of development in the region,” said the survey.

General salary increase expectations in the GCC region range from 5 to 6 per cent.

Employees in the UAE and Bahrain are expected to get the least in the bloc - a 5 per cent hike. Oman is expected to dole out marginally better hikes at 5.1 per cent, Qatar 5.2 per cent and Kuwait at 5.4 per cent. Employees in Saudi Arabia are expected to get the sweetest deal with an anticipated 6 per cent hike in 2013.

“Job growth and salary increases tend to go hand-in-hand as demand outweighs supply and companies are forced to pay more for candidates with the requisite skills and industry experience,” Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director at Robert half told Emirates 24|7 while commenting on 2013 job market scenario in the UAE.

The Middle East and Africa has the largest variation in forecast pay increases due to the diverse nature of the region.

Companies in Morocco (4.9 per cent), Tunisia (5.3 per cent) and Algeria (6.8 per cent) are predicting high pay increases to employees compared to those in Western Europe, while employees in Egypt and South Africa are anticipated to receive 10 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Companies in Africa are anticipating average increases of 8 per cent and companies in the Middle East expecting to give employees increases of 5.4 per cent in 2013, said the Mercer report.

“Anticipated pay increases are affected by consumer price inflation, the anticipated pay increase in 2013 are predicted to be above the forecasted inflation generating real pay growth for employees,” said Zaid Kamhawi, Middle East Business Leader for Information Product Solutions at Mercer.

"Companies, however, are placing less emphasis on inflation rates when budgeting for pay increases, and factoring such variables as relative pay competitiveness, affordability, labour market conditions and confidence in their business outlook.”

“In 2012, like in other regions, we saw the introduction of salary freezes in a number of Middle East markets. Our forecast shows that an estimated 5 per cent of companies will look to freeze salaries in 2013 across the region. The Middle East region showed the lowest and healthiest figures across the ME and Afirca region in terms of salary freezes.”