The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the UAE for 2020.
After a slightly turbulent period, FDI inflows have recovered considerably. The United Arab Emirates saw its inflows of FDI increased by USD 311 million between 2017 and 2018, reaching USD 10,3 billion.
This increase was mainly due to investment in a diverse range of sectors, from oil and gas to digital technologies. The UAE is regaining its growth momentum with a positive impact on employment trends.
Non-oil growth could exceed 1%2 in 2019 and pick up to around 3% in 2020, the fastest since 2016, on the back of Expo 2020 and fiscal stimulus. Overall GDP growth would register 2.5% in 2020.
The federal government is rolling out initiatives to boost and diversify the economy in line with its Vision 2021 agenda, while Abu Dhabi’s AED503 billion ‘Ghadan 21’ stimulus package is rejuvenating industries and encouraging higher levels of foreign direct investment.
Oil prices have stabilised at around $68 per barrel, still far lower than in the boom years, and inflation has dipped suggesting overall modest growth for the UAE, boosted by robust sovereign wealth fund reserves and a zero-deficit federal budget planned for 2020.
The infrastructure, real estate, tourism and entertainment projects underway as part of Expo 2020 Dubai, the global six-month mega-event set to commence next October 2019 are expected to significantly boost the job market and create fresh revenue streams in the months ahead.
With this in mind, we predict an improvement in the employment market in 2020. There is likely to be increased job stability for UAE workers following a spate of restructurings and mergers since the oil dip. Salaries remain broadly flat across most sectors, predicting 1% increase in market salary ranges for new hires in 2020 on average across all sectors.
Of all the industries we analysed, we predict the most significant market-range salary increase for 2020 is within the strategy sector at 5%. We expect modest increases of 2% within investment management, manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors.
Accounting and finance and back-office banking functions report a slight decrease in the salary ranges offered to new hires, while functions such as human resourses, sales and marketing and legal do not expect to change in 2020.
The biggest challenge organisations face in 2020 is retaining quality staff amid hot competition from public sector organisations and other GCC countries, most notably, Saudi Arabia, as it rolls out potentially game-changing Vision 2030 reforms.
The UAE must also grasp with both hands the incoming technological changes that promise to disrupt industries, to ensure that they generate, not threaten, future roles.
Download the full UAE Salary Guide 2020 here
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