Salary Hike Expected In 2019

Salary Hike Expected In 2019

The UAE employment market is set to pick up in 2019. With healthy growth prospects and drive to remain competitive in the market, employers in UAE are keen to raise base salaries for their employees. Workers can now expect a substantial salary hike in 2019. The Cooper Fitch 2019 Salary Guide has revealed optimism for next year on the back of higher average oil prices and with GDP growth expected to be 4.2% after a spate of reforms, announced by the government.

Salary Hike by 4.8% Projected in 2019

Overall salaries projected to increase by 4.8% in the UAE across all industries in 2019, with the strongest surge likely to come for those employed in non-energy industries. Other sectors that are expected to see strong increase include consumer goods and high-tech industries with real wage growth. They are also expected to steadily rise in the region. In the previous years, the market saw a significant restructuring in organisations, particularly in the banking sector which affected employment rates and adversely influenced salary levels.

Sectors with Hiring Growth Projected in 2019


The overall hiring outlook in the UAE is positive with close to 50% of companies looking to increase their headcount and 45% looking to maintain headcount. Sectors that should experience hiring growth include advisory, as commercial disputes are on the rise, and legal, with both expected to rise by10 to 15%. There is an increase in banking, compliance and regulatory and legal jobs in the UAE, while there is a limited local talent supply. Legal companies will attempt to retain top-tier talent through strong bonus pools, flexible working arrangements and exciting projects. With Expo 2020 coming nearer, retention of candidates will be even more important in 2019.

GCC Talent Trends

According to recent survey at talent trends in the UAE, 78% of organisations expect an increase in competition for talent in the GCC. Furthermore, 47% of organisations noted that there aren’t enough experts in niche fields, and that scarcity of required talent may pose a potential challenge. The reason for this trend could be due to the UAE’s diversification efforts which are giving rise to niche fields in specific industries like healthcare and IT, resulting in the need for specialized experts. Labour nationalization requirements is a top GCC economic and social issue that is likely to have an impact on organizations in 2019. This will have a clear and direct impact on the hiring trends firms will adopt, particularly on the reward mechanisms that are put in place to attract local talent. Packages offered and opportunities for advancement will need to compete with those offered in the public sector.



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