Will you be one of the lucky ones?
Study suggests salaries in UAE will increase 4.6 per cent next year
Wages across the UAE will rise by an average of 4.6 per cent next year, according to a study by a global advisory firm.
The research, conducted by Willis Towers Watson, says salaries are also expected to go up 4.9 per cent this year.
With UAE inflation at an average of 4 per cent for the past two years, pay rises will reflect that, the report says. The firm surveyed companies in more than 100 countries and received 6,500 responses.
The research suggests many in the country’s workforce will see a boost in their monthly pay despite job losses across a number of sectors in the UAE in recent months, including oil and gas and banking.
Laurent Leclère, a senior consultant with the firm, said employers need to balance the needs of the company and the needs of staff to ensure they offer a “total rewards package”.
He added: “There are many factors that affect the employee attraction and retention, such as the work environment, the managers they work with, health and insurance programmes.
“The top-most factor, however, is the compensation that would also drive the employees’ performance.”
But, some residents are sceptical. Sean James wrote on the 7DAYSUAE Facebook page: “Not in my job. Come to think of it, it rose once. I have been here 10 years.”
Surveys and financial forecasts have predicted salary increases for UAE workers - but many readers are questioning whether they will ever see such hikes.
The Willis Towers Watson Salary Budget Planning Study is based on 6,500 responses from firms in 100 countries, including the UAE. It says business owners predict giving their staff an average salary hike of 4.6 per cent for 2017, and will up wages by 4.9 per cent this year in the UAE.
A similar survey of 600 large firms in the GCC by Aon Hewitt last September found a similar planned rise for 2016, including 5 per cent in the UAE.
And while some may be fortunate to see such a raise, the firms and employees that 7DAYS spoke have their doubts.
Dilip Khatwani, CEO of Dubai-based facilities management firm Reliance FM, said small businesses are feeling the squeeze. He said: “Our margins are shrinking, however, commercial rents are increasing, there’s an increase in petrol and parking.
“We do intend to give pay hikes to keep our team energised but the increments cannot be the same as previous years.”
Louis Miles, a business owner in Dubai, wrote on the 7DAYSUAE Facebook page that rising rents also make salary increases hard to manage.
He wrote: “My shop’s rent just went up another 10 per cent this renewal. Also as of this year we have to pay 15 per cent tax upfront (to DIP) in order to get the Ejari, which is required to renew the trade licence and all our government transactions.” He added: “Our customers rent their own apartments leaving them with less spending money.” And some residents said they have even had to take a pay cut to keep their job. Facebook user Naeema K said: “My salary, instead of increasing, has decreased. My employer said that they need to cut costs.” The Willis report found that in the Middle East, Lebanon will see the highest increase in pay at 5.4 per cent in 2017, down slightly from 7.1 per cent predicted this year. For 2016, the study found Zambia had the lowest - at minus 13.6 per cent for 2016. North America, home to two of the largest economies in the world, was due to see a rise of just 1.6 per cent for 2016, the study said.