The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide for Technology represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the UAE for 2020.
Technology professionals in the UAE are in high demand, as technological advances disrupt industries and businesses position themselves for the next phase of growth. We expect 2% increase in market-rate salary ranges in 2020.
For example, there has been a marked increase in technology job openings in the banking sector, as lenders digitalise their operations. In retail, profound changes in the way consumers spend money have led to increased employment opportunities. Global e-commerce giant Amazon’s entry to the Middle East through its acquisition of UAE-based Souq.com marked a pivotal moment for the region’s family retail conglomerates, forcing them to re-evaluate their operations and adopt pioneering technology; otherwise, they risk falling behind the curve.
As a result, there has been an influx of technology talent to the UAE market, which has kept salary increases in this sector steady at 1-3% in 2019. For this report, technology roles include roles within technology companies, vendor firms (companies selling technology equipment, software or services), consultancies, digital and end-user roles (which cover all industries).
Demand for professionals in emerging technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to grow in 2020, as industries realise the importance of offering customers a seamless, digitalised experience. Data scientists, data architects and software developers will also be highly sought after as businesses recognise the value in capturing and deploying data-driven insights.
Cybersecurity roles will be another critical function in the year ahead, while interest in open source application (app) development has boosted demand for professionals with API (application
programme interface) skills to build the relevant software.
Meanwhile, the growth of UAE start-ups and financial technology (FinTech) firms is pushing up demand for web and mobile developers. Businesses are also looking to the Internet of Things (IoT) the concept of everyday devices wired up to the internet prompting demand for network engineers across the UAE.
Finally, CIOs (chief information officers) at large UAE organisations are under pressure to grow profit by making better use of cloud technologies. This is fuelling demand for senior professionals with experience in leading and transforming businesses through cloud computing. The Middle East has among the world’s lowest level of spending on cloud computing, and that is mostly due to governments are fearful of data moving out of their jurisdictions and across borders. This is denting hiring in this field. Bahrain has announced a new law permitting international companies to apply their legal authority to cloud data stored in the country. As other GCC countries follow suit, hiring of cloud professionals is expected to grow.
Due to rapid evolution in the technology sector, clients have grappled with numerous challenges impacting recruitment. Some vendor firms have closed regional offices in favour of working fully through virtual channels to cut costs. Other challenges include a limited number of UAE nationals with skills in emerging technologies.
To stay competitive, firms should seek exciting and modern ways of utilising technology to lure the most talented and ambitious candidates.
Download the full Technology Salary Guide 2020 here
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