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Revealed: UAE workers who will get wage hike

Revealed: UAE workers who will get wage hikeImage Credit: Supplied

Not everyone will get a wage increase next year, but UAE professionals that are still in demand can expect some changes in their payslips, according to the latest report.

International recruitment specialist Robert Half, which has recently released its 2017 Salary Guide, said that the need to attract and retain skilled human resources has prompted several businesses, whether a start-up, SME or multinational company, to grant pay adjustments averaging 2.5 per cent next year.

Forecast to get higher pay are professionals in the accounting, financial services, technology and administration fields, as well as those who have legal expertise or background. Those handling senior roles are likely to get bigger adjustments.

Gareth el Mettouri, associate director at Robert Half UAE, told Gulf News that while some companies are still struggling financially and freezing both hiring and wage adjustments, many organisations try to dangle better financial offers, as they see increased competition with international organisations outside the region.

"Many organisations are still seeking specialist professionals for business critical roles,'' el Mettouri said. In fact, among the chief financial officers polled recently, 68 per cent said they will be hiring new employees in the coming year.

The talent shortage is partly due to the fact that other labour markets like the United States, Asia and United Kingdom are seeking skilled professionals as well.

''As such, skilled professionals are in short supply - and often in short supply internationally. As the US, Asian and UK markets start to demand these professionals, firms will need to offer competitive remuneration packages and job opportunities to attract professionals to the region.''

Accountancy and finance

Starting salaries for workers holding accounting and finance roles within the small and medium enterprise (SME) category can expect increases on par with large companies. Higher pay rises will be offered for roles within tax, financial planning and analysis, and compliance, as companies across the country prepare for the implementation of value-added tax (VAT).

Tax directors in large companies are seeing a 6.5 per cent increase, while compliance directors and financial planning and analysis managers in small companies can expect increases of 5.5 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively.

For financial services professionals, starting salaries are expected to rise by 1.2 per cent.

According to Robert Half, companies in the UAE are finding it increasingly difficult to attract expatriate financial services professionals. ''This, combined with increases to DFSA regulation, has resulted in firms turning to local talent to fill positions. As productivity and commercial gains are being closely measured, the demand is high for associate to vice-president level professionals who can add value from day one.''


For the technology professionals, the average starting salary increase will be 2.4 per cent, but employees holding more critical roles like information technology (IT) managers with 10 years' experience and systems administrators can see much higher increases.

Human Resources

Salaries for roles across HR and administration are predicted to rise by 3.8 per cent. Likely to get increases higher than the average are head of compensation and benefits, compensation and benefits manager and head of learning and development.


Legal professionals who have ''western education'' and knowledge of local compliance and regulation can expect starting salaries to rise by 3 per cent. The biggest increases will go to legal partners in private practice, paralegals in private practice and in-house legal assistants.

Find out how VAT is to open up employment opportunities in UAE

Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, gulfnews.comGN