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UAE salaries set to rise

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Confidence in the market at a three-year high

According to the Hays Emiratisation Salary Guide 2022, UAE nationals are feeling optimistic about their salary prospects this year with the majority expecting their pay to increase over the next 12 months.

In the survey, respondents were asked what they expected to happen to their salary this year with 50% of Emiratis saying they anticipated an increase – up from 43% who said the same last year while 48% anticipate their salary to remain the same as in 2021. A mere 2% said they expected a decrease.

Grace Eldridge, Business Manager of Hays Emiratisation division commented: “This is the first time since running our annual salary survey that we have seen expectations for salary increases outweigh those expecting their salary to remain the same year-on-year within the Emirati community.”

“While professionals’ expectations are always slightly inflated above actual market trends, we do think these expectations are relatively realistic. Confidence in the market is at a three-year high, with business activity generally above and beyond pre-pandemic levels in the UAE. As a result, we expect a higher number of salary increases to be awarded this year than the past two years,” adds Grace.

Results from the report found that 74% of employers in the UAE plan to increase salaries in 2022, compared to 36% who did in 2021.

How much are salaries likely to increase?

The report found that 32% of Emiratis received a pay increase last year, which was lower than the 44% of expats who were also given pay increases. However, the average uplift in pay was higher for the Emirati community, who were mostly awarded an increase of between 5 and 10%, compared with the expat community, where the most common was an uplift of less than 5%.

According to Hays, in 2022, of those UAE nationals who expect a pay rise, the majority will again anticipate an increase of between 5 and 10%, while the majority of employers are planning to increase salaries by less than 5%.

Grace added: “When we refer to pay rises and trends, it’s important to note that these are not typically awarded on a company-wide basis. Instead, as our report shows, pay rises are more commonly offered on an individual basis as a result of a professional either ‘starting a new job with a new company’ or an ‘individual performance related pay increase’ and we expect the same again this year.”

“Our advice to professionals who believe they are deserved of a pay rise, is to be prepared to ask for one. They must manage their negotiation formally and sensibly; in light of the value they bring to the organisation. Those who sit and wait from a pay rise may be disappointed,” concluded Grace.

 

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