85% state that the cost of living in the past year has increased
Dubai, UAE, 3 April 2012–The latest MENA Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has revealed that despite 44% of employees having been unhappy with their last pay rise, more than half believe that salaries in the UAE are increasing.
About the Respondents
A third of survey respondents (31%) in the UAE have spent 4-6 years in their current industry, with a further third (32%) having worked for their current employer for 4-7 years. Four out of ten have between one and five people reporting directly to them, with a collective 71% stating that they are midway in terms of seniority (37%), or at a fairly senior level, but not yet at the top (34%). Over the past five years, four out of ten respondents have held two jobs; 24% have held one job, while the remainder have held three (20%) or more (14%). On average, most people will stay in a job for 2 to 3 years (39%), or six or more years (22%).
The preferred pay structure in the UAE is entirely fixed-pay according to 62%, with popular incentives including those that are performance-based (59%), and professional training and development courses (35%).
The majority of salary packages (65%) consist of basic salary plus benefits, and 57% of respondents are currently moderately satisfied with their salary.
The most popular UAE salary benefits include personal medical insurance (49%), personal air ticket (48%), and bonuses (35%).
Salary Comparisons and Expectations
Six out of ten respondents in the UAE state that their current compensation is lower than that offered by other companies in the same industry. Four in ten claim not to have received a raise in the last 12 months, while those who did receive a raise are predominantly unhappy with what they received; collectively, 44% claim to have been ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’. Two thirds of respondents (63%) expect to receive a raise in the coming year, 25% of which are looking at an additional 15% or more.
Cost of Living and Savings
According to 85% of survey respondents, the cost of living in the UAE has increased in the last 12 months (between December 2010 – December 2011), of these 43% believe that it has increased by 15% or more. Food and beverage is believed to have increased the most, according to four out of ten respondents, followed by rent (29%). A majority 74% believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in the coming year. On average, respondents claim that they received a 6.63% raise in the past year – while stating that their cost of living increased by an average of 19.46%.
Just over a third of respondents (37%) are able to save more than 15% of their monthly salary, though a further quarter have been unable to save anything at all. Four out of ten (37%) manage to repatriate more than 15% of their salary.
“The survey’s results suggest that companies are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn, as they are generally not fully catering to the financial expectations of their employees or to their employees’ perceptions of the rising cost of living across the region,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President of Sales, Bayt.com. “Bayt.com’s in-depth surveys provide invaluable information about the MENA employment market, giving employers and job-seekers alike a realistic insight into the issues faced by their peers locally and elsewhere in the region.”
Perception of Salaries in the Country
More than half of survey respondents (a collaborative 51%) believe that salaries in the UAE are increasing either ‘marginally’ (25% of respondents) or ‘moderately’ (26% of respondents). The most popular reason for this is perceived to be inflation and the rising cost of living (52%), followed by the local growth in opportunities and economic growth (32%). Respondents meanwhile blame the poor economy (34%) and poor corporate performance and profitability (20%) as being the top reasons for salaries not increasing.
Quality of Life
When comparing themselves to other people of a similar generation within the UAE, 38% of respondents believe that their quality of life is about average, while 29% believe that they are somewhat better off. 32% of professionals believe that there is an excess of talent in the UAE.
To improve their situation, six out of ten will look for a better job in the same industry, while a further third will look to a different industry altogether.
“The survey respondents belief that there is an increase, however small, in salaries is a positive sign for the future. However, the fact that they also consider there to be an excess of talent suggests that unemployment levels are currently relatively high, and that competition for existing jobs is fierce,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.
Drivers of Loyalty
Loyalty to employers is directly linked to salary package, according to 27% of UAE respondents. However, a larger group of 34% base their loyalty on opportunities for long-term career progression. Line managers, colleagues and working environment, company brand and reputation also factor highly.
Data for the Bayt.com Salary Survey March 2012 was collected online from March 1 to 13, 2012. Results are reported on a base of 16067 respondents. Countries that participated are UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.
Bayt.com is the largest and most relevant community of professionals interested in the MENA region with over 7,250,000 registered jobseekers and 40,000 employers. Bayt.com has 11 regional offices, over 200 staff and a 11 year track record of successfully matching the region’s top talent with top employment opportunities at every career level, in every industry.