UAE employees can expect a 4.8pc pay rise next year

5 November, 2018 12:00 AM printer

DUBAI: Salaries in the UAE are projected to increase by 4.8 per cent next year across all industries as the job market heats up amid the government’s diversification efforts, a new report has found.

Most industries in the Emirates will receive a pay rise in 2019 – the best outlook in the GCC - with the strongest push to come in the life sciences (pharmaceuticals and health care), consumer goods and high-tech industries, according to the Total Remuneration Study from the global consulting firm Mercer, report agencies.

New hiring, talent and compensation trends are emerging as the UAE realises its vision of diversifying away from oil, said Ted Raffoul, career products leader for Mena at Mercer.

“The GCC and UAE economies tend to be very reliant on the price of oil and the performance of the energy industry because you have government spending in the market based on that,” he said. “We have had quite low oil prices over the last couple of years and that has picked up in 2018, which is why we are seeing higher projections for 2019.”

The UAE jobs market has received a boost in recent months due to a raft of reforms, such as more flexible visa options, economic stimulus measures and a new private sector insurance policy. All of these steps rolled out by the government are designed to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and diversify the economy.

“Many of the government reforms we are seeing are actually coming from Abu Dhabi because its economy is much more reliant on oil so, yes, that is also helping – but that does not happen overnight and is something that is going to keep having an effect for some time,” said Mr Raffoul.

Diversification will bolster the economy against the effects of a future drop in oil prices, he added.

The reforms, along with a wider digital technology adoption, has left UAE business leaders feeling more confident about their companies' prospects for next year, as growth in the economy drives demand for high-skilled professionals, according to the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide, released last week.