Salaries increased by an average of 5.5% across all industries in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during 2011 compared to 4.4% the previous year, according to Towers Watson research. This finding was announced at the company’s annual Middle East HR Forum, where it also predicted that salaries in the UAE are expected to rise by a further 5.7% in 2012.
According to Towers Watson, of the GCC countries in 2011 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had the highest average salary increase of 6.2%, followed by Qatar (5.8%), Kuwait and the UAE (5.5%), Oman (5.3%), and Bahrain (5.0%). Egypt led the way in the MENA region with a 10% growth, while Bahrain saw the smallest increase at 5.0%.
The research shows private sector salary increases were higher overall in 2011 than the previous year and the number of companies in the region freezing salaries dropped significantly compared to the previous two years.
Billy Turriff, Business Leader for Data, Surveys and Technology at Towers Watson Middle East, said: “The data provides some interesting insights into rewards and compensation trends, particularly how salaries have continued to increase despite the economic and political turmoil that has affected many countries in the MENA region. With overall remuneration levels increasing in 2011, more organisations are using bonuses and allowances to differentiate their rewards offerings against the competition. Next year we expect pay increases to be approximately 0.5 percentage points higher than 2011.”