Welcome to Cooper Fitch’s Salary Guide for 2018. This guide covers professional mid to senior jobs across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cooper Fitch is a search firm based in the United Arab Emirates since 1997 specialising in recruitment, HR advisory services and executive search. We are delighted to present our Salary Survey findings for 2018 where we aim to provide insights into employment and salary trends in key sectors for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We base all of our salary predictions on information obtained from organizations located in the United Arab Emirates only as well as our own experts’ observations on market trends. The guide summarises our expectations for salaries and recruitment trends for 2018.
Cooper Fitch estimated GDP growth of approximately 3.4% in 2018 (according to IMF forecasts) across the United Arab Emirates. With the predicted outlook for oil prices of approximately $55 per barrel as per the S&P Global rating made in November 2017, we are quite optimistic about some slight improvements in salary levels and in the activity level for new jobs in the UAE for 2018. This follows the back of a more lacklustre than expected finish in 2017, which was a continuation of the 2016 trend. The key sectors of banking had a much-improved year last year in line with what we had predicted for it, but 2018 still looks very uncertain with a considerable number of mergers planned for the next 12 months.
The energy sector is starting to see some very slight "green shoots" with some key hires being made, but it is still running on a minus number when it comes to salary levels. The number of new jobs coming to market was slightly higher than that of 2016 (by 1-2%).
The economic outlook for the UAE for 2018 shows some good signs of growth, in terms of the creation of new opportunities and increased headcount for the year ahead, within the following areas: sales, advisory, legal, strategy, tax, IT, and digital. We certainly also project some job creation in new sectors such as Privatisation, Digital banking, Fintech and Blockchain all becoming potentially important growth sectors, particularly in Dubai. What this means in terms of actual volume is very hard to say. Other areas such as supply chain and manufacturing have had a good 2018, with more high-end job creation that occurred last year and the same plan for the year ahead. The introduction of VAT in the UAE and across the GCC will be the single biggest job creator for the new jobs in 2018 – we are forecasting over 9,000 new jobs across the gulf.
We see that salaries will remain very flat in the Property & Construction, Healthcare, and Education industries. Cooper Fitch are predicting that salaries will rise to between 2-3% of current levels, dependent on predicted GDP and commodity prices as outlined. By reading the commentary in this guide, however, you will see that there are significant differences in how certain sectors are forecasting recruitment activity with certain sectors likely to perform better than others, leading to corresponding salary performance.
We hope you find the insights presented in this report interesting and useful and we welcome any feedback.
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