H1 Salary Guide UAE 2017

Welcome to Cooper Fitch’s half-year review of the 2017 Salary Guide for the United Arab Emirates. Our salary guide covers professional (mid to senior level) jobs across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Cooper Fitch is a specialist recruitment firm based in the UAE offering recruitment, HR advisory services and executive search, servicing clients throughout the Middle East since 1997. We felt that with the many changing circumstances this year, we would review where salaries are at the halfway point in 2017. We have also summarised our findings and share valuable insights into the region’s employment and salary trends found in key sectors. 

The outlook for 2017 is improving and market sentiment looks reasonably positive. As of May this year, experts from Standard Charted Bank have predicted a slight pickup in the UAE's nonoil GDP with a 3.2% growth in 2017 from the predicted growth level of 2.6% in 2016. According to Marios Marathefis, the Chief Economist at Standard Charter Bank oil prices are currently reaching around $50 per barrel. This means they are not high enough to be inflationary and hinder growth or low enough to lead to a deflationary spiral and a lack of investment in oil production. 

Following January's prediction for 2017, the economy appears to be stabilising after a volatile period in 2015 and 2016. This has resulted in the majority of salary packages plateauing for the year as a whole which has led to a more stable job market in the Middle East. 

Notable changes which have occurred have been in the Digital and Manufacturing industry in the effort to increase their contribution to the regions GDP. The increased focused on the digital sphere was triggered by the launch of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan's Blockchain Strategy in order to cement Dubai's reputation as a global technology leader. Whereas, large investments have been made in the manufacturing industry to build more factories and increase the number of manufacturing jobs in an endeavour to increase the regions non-oil private sector GDP.

Another key development of 2017 has been the implementation of VAT in the Middle East. VAT has had a positive impact on both the technology and finance sector as it has created new VAT jobs in the Middle East. The technology sector has experienced a need for business to update their ERP systems while all industries are requiring VAT implementation specialists. Ultimately, this has furthered the demand for attracting international talent to the Middle East. 

The recent dispute between Qatar and the Middle East has also created a sense of instability within the region, however, the exact impact of this incident is yet to be estimated. It is probable that this incident will negatively impact the overall profit of organisations based in Qatar and may decrease the volume of jobs in certain sectors. 

In summary, the outlook for 2017 remains positive. It is likely that salaries will continue to increase but rather by 2-3% as opposed to January's prediction of 5-6%. 

Cooper Fitch specialises in recruiting for – Auditing and tax jobs, legal jobs, strategy, banking jobs and accounting jobs, sales jobs, marketing jobs, technology jobs and digital jobs, compliance jobs, supply chain jobs and manufacturing jobs, construction jobs and engineering jobs and technical sales.

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