Sunday, September 30, 2007’s latest salary survey has released its latest survey of salaries in the Gulf. You can download a copy of Gulf Compensation Trends 2007 here.

Some excerpts from their press release for the UAE revealed the following increases in basic salary by country, over the one-year period to August 2007:
Oman 11.0%
UAE 10.7%
Qatar 10.6%
Bahrain 8.1%
Kuwait 7.9%
Saudi Arabia 7.7%
Oman registered the biggest jump, from 5.6% last year to 11.0% this year, driven in part by a 15% pay rise for public sector employees. The government’s decision earlier this year to allow expatriates to change employers has dramatically increased staff attrition rates, further adding to the pressure on firms to increase salaries.
[T]he UAE government’s decision earlier this year to tighten the rules on expatriates switching employers has helped companies reduce attrition rates, partially easing the upward pressure on pay levels, the report found.
The UAE and Qatar, which are experiencing double-digit inflation this year, remain near the top of the rankings.
[T]he HR function has recently been catapulted to the front line as Gulf-based employers grapple with the challenge of attracting, developing and retaining staff.
The survey further revealed that, as the supply of skilled staff from traditional markets such as India and Egypt diminished, many employers were looking to new sources such as China, Eastern Europe and Latin America. At the same time, staff shortages were forcing companies to outsource more of their operations or to switch to other processes and technologies that are less manpower-intensive.
The UAE saw a slight rise in its annual rate of salary increase from 10.3% to 10.7% this year. Inflation remains a key factor, forecast to reach 12.0% in 2007, largely on the back of rising rent levels. Government-introduced rent caps have partially been successful, reducing average rent rises from 31% in 2006 to 23% this year, although still far above the official 7% cap.

With the rising cost of living exceeding pay increases over the last few years, many expatriates have seen a fall in their net disposable incomes.
At the same time, employers in the UAE, and Dubai in particular, still benefit from the relative popularity of the country with expatriates, thanks to attractive career opportunities, modern infrastructure and facilities, and a relatively liberal society.

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