Downward Slope: Expat Compensation

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As the cost of living has been coming down in the country, it has resulted in employers dishing out less as pay packages for expats are now shrinking.

Change in company hiring policies has further reduced the total compensation benefits, as they are more inclined to hire locally than look at other countries.

The appetite to fork out extra for special expat packages has gone down substantially compared to four odd years ago, given the increased range of qualified and high caliber candidates already settled in the MENA region, Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates told Emirates 24|7.

According to Qazi, employers are more risk averse now, and where possible would prefer to hire individuals committed to the region already, from a corporate governance perspective and a saleability and continuity perspective. Special packages were common before the recession to lure candidates with niche experience / qualifications to what was then seen as a hardship destination. Now, however, the region, in particular the UAE is seen as lifestyle destination of choice, free of tax, crime and general social gloom.

As per a recent poll by Bayt.com, many professionals in the country believe that expat offering are down. [Our poll] on Expat Packages in the Middle East showed that that 35 per cent of employees in the Middle East say their companies are still giving special expat packages while 44.9 per cent say they are not, with 45.3 per cent who think that special GCC expat packages are over, said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com.

Shari M., an expat working in Dubai since 20 years, told ArabianGazette.com, “I don’t think this stands true for me and many of my colleagues. I have been here long enough and thankfully not been faced with a reduction in my remuneration package so far.”

However, she also states that it “could happen as it is a fact that rents are coming down, so housing allowances could drop too.”

Sources: Emirates 24|7

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