CEOs and managing directors of multinational and local companies earn the highest salaries in the UAE, according to the Gulf Business 2014 Salary Survey.
While chief executives of global companies earn an average monthly wage of $27,440, those of local companies pocket $19,945, the annual survey found. However, the figures are much lower compared to the $31,080 (down 11.7 per cent) and $22,756 (down 12.3 per cent) respectively that they were making last year.
Across the board, the survey found that average monthly salaries in the UAE were down 1.7 per cent to $10,206, compared to $10,384 last year.
According to Gareth Clayton, director of financial and professional services at Charterhouse Middle East, although living and rental costs do impact salary rates, wages aren’t keeping up with the rate of inflation.
“Dubai is probably a prime example of this, where rents continue to rise on the back of strong market confidence and projected growth. The cycle for re-alignment could possibly take a year, as organisations approve new bandings and salary reviews,” he said.
Rental prices in the emirate surgedby as much as 50 per cent last year ,  according to a report by Asteco, while other estimations place increases at anywhere from 15 to 25 per cent. But unlike the pre-crisis period, employers are not seen to be matching their salaries to increasing living costs.
“There does not seem to be the appetite from companies to enter into the sort of ‘bidding war’ that prevailed in the 2006 to 2008 period,  where rapidly rising living costs were accompanied by rapidly rising salaries in order to retain and attract talent,” said Cliff Single, Commercial manager at BAC ME.
The Expo 2020 effect  in Dubai “hasn’t yet kicked in” added Clayton. “But with the planned investment across both private & public sector infrastructure expenditure, there is no doubt that salaries will have to increase.”