Your salary is predicted to rise by 3.5% in 2019

By Angel Chan

DUBAI 4 February 2019: Nadia Global, a leading recruitment and training provider in the region announced its annual GCC Salary Report 2018 – 2019 predicting salary rises of between 3.5 and 5 per cent whilst inflation stands at 4 per cent.

The UAE’s growing reputation through strong government initiatives as a tolerant, multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan location will result in a continued influx of talent from abroad at all levels leading to a rise in the average country residency rate of 8-10 years for 25-50 year olds.

Staff turnover was down from 11 to 8 per cent with many employers starting to realise the value in building loyalty from staff due, in part, to new government initiatives. New visas for job seekers and retirees and property ownership initiatives are encouraging residents to commit to a longer stay in Dubai offering more permanency and stability.

Key Factors

A number of factors affect salaries including the introduction last year of VAT, the oversupply in the housing market driving down rent by 10 to 20 per cent; a 5 per cent freeze in education costs by KHDA, and now health insurance providers are raising premiums by 10 to 20 per cent.

A global factor also influencing the future employment market in the UAE is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Employees must embrace the rise of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity and Blockchain technologies over the next two to five years with candidates in these fields commanding the highest salaries.

Soft Skills

Critical to people’s careers – whether technical or not – will be the soft skills, such as leadership, management and communication skills to interpret computer-led outputs in the real world with real emotional intelligence. With the majority of the population under 30 with anywhere between 30 to 50 years left in the workplace, this demographic will be at the forefront of the workplace revolution.

Change in the workplace due to technological advances has previously been exacerbated by previous uncertainty over long term visas for retirees as well as visas for new arrivals still searching for jobs. In 2018, the government took important steps to create greater stability and long-term future for those either speculatively looking for jobs or planning to retire in the UAE with new legislation. Initiatives linked to real estate purchases have similarly enabled expats to stay with a knock on effect in the employment market.

Ajay Malhotra, CEO of Nadia Global and Group CEO of Growing World Business (GWB) Group said: “We believe the UAE is a barometer for the region and that it’s entering the next stage of evolution in terms of attracting business and talent on the world stage. Positive initiatives at government level such as Expo 2020, as well as macro-level global events whether political or economic such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution are contributing to this. In our 35 year history at the forefront of the recruitment and training industry, we are confident that there is a lot of opportunity in the UAE where the new normal is a safe environment and a standard of living that is higher than many of us would enjoy in our home countries.”

Job Pool 

Within the job pool, each age group is motivated by different priorities when moving jobs, salary being just one of the criteria. The older the person, the more emphasis on pay and job security whilst the younger generation (Millennials and Gen Z) still early in their career are inspired by opportunity for growth and personal development as well as positive experiences in the working environment. The following chart provides more detail:


Ian Giulianotti, Executive Director of Nadia Global Recruitment and Executive Search said: “In 2018, the average salary rise was 3.5 per cent and this will continue for a second year based on our analysis. A shift in employee priorities with regard to work life balance coupled with government led initiatives on relaxed regulation on ownership, immigration, economic investment in infrastructure and adoption of new technologies will define the regional job market trends in the coming years.”

Moreover, the report highlighted regional insights on both the private and public sectors with the main challenges of industries on local and regional level.

Dubai Gazette