Average Expatriate Workforce in the Gulf Countries Is Declining

Published February 28th, 2019 - 10:42 GMT
 The average monthly salary of expatriates in the Gulf countries was $ 8,083, down 26% from the previous year. (Shutterstock)
The average monthly salary of expatriates in the Gulf countries was $ 8,083, down 26% from the previous year. (Shutterstock)

A Bayt.com survey showed that the average expatriate workforce in the Gulf countries is declining, but that does not mean they get less pay, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The 2018 Payroll Survey was subject to some changes in the calculations, after several levels of low-wage jobs were added to the index, leading to a decline in the average salary of the expatriate. The average monthly salary of expatriates in the Gulf countries was $ 8,083, down 26% from the previous year.

The average number of expatriates in Kuwait dropped by 27.73%, while in Saudi Arabia the highest (34.21%) and the UAE (26.74%). In Bahrain, average salaries fell by 25.18% and Oman by 25.2%. The survey divided expatriate workers from Western, Arab and Asian countries rather than evaluating all expatriates together.

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The top two centers in the Gulf for expatriates are the CEO or managing director of a multinational company. The average salary rose 2.95 percent from $33,988 to $34,990, while the average salary of the chief executive / managing director of a local company rose 13.25 percent from $ 22,031 to $ 24,950.

The Bayt.com report said that the country of the CEO had no significant impact on the salary he received. The report shows a significant discrepancy between the average wage in the Gulf countries, where the average salary of expatriates in Saudi Arabia is $ 8,560 per month, which represents a 2.9% increase from the United Arab Emirates, 8.4% from Bahrain, 8.7% from Oman, and About Kuwait by 8.96%. Qatar was not included in the survey. This does not mean that Saudi Arabia pays the best salaries for all jobs, but the overall rate is higher. For example, Kuwait pays the highest salary for a GP ($ 1,550 per month), while Bahrain pays the best salary for teachers ($ 11530 per month).

The average salary for expats working in the Gulf States has gone down – but it doesn’t mean they are being paid less. The salary survey for 2018 carried out by job portal Bayt has undergone some counting changes that has seen the amount reduce because the index has added several tiers of lower paid jobs.

The average monthly salary for Gulf expats is $8,083 – 26% down on last year. The figure varied between countries – the Saudi average was down 34.21%, the Kuwait average 27.73%, the United Arab Emirates average 26.74%, while for Bahrain, the figure was reduced by 25.18% and Oman, by 25.2%. The survey has also done away with splitting expats between Western, Arab and Asian workers, instead assessing all expats together. The top two positions in the Gulf for expats are CEO or managing director of a multinational company, which was up 2.95% from $33,988 to $34,990 and that of a CEO/MD of a local company was up 13.25% from $22,031 to $24,950.

The agency explains that a CEO/ MD’s home country had little impact on the salary they are paid. Average salaries range considerably between countries. Saudi Arabia’s average expat salary is $8,560 a month – with a differential for each other Gulf country.

That’s 2.9% more than the UAE; 8.4% of Bahrain, 8.7% more than Oman and 8.96% more than Kuwait. Qatar is not included due to political tension and sanctions that are in place. The recruitment agency explains that does not mean that Saudi Arabia pays the best salary for each role – just that the average across the board is higher. For example, Bahrain pays the best head teacher salary ($11,530 a month) and Kuwait pays the top salary for a general doctor ($5,150 a month).

Suhail Masri, vice-president of employer solutions at Bayt.com, said small and medium private enterprises were expected to be the main hirers in the coming months. Three out of four firms say they intend to hire within three months and nine out of 10 have plans to do so within 12 months. “The Middle East’s overall transformation is an attractive option for careerminded expats, especially in sectors like real estate, construction, infrastructure and banking,” said Masri. “In addition, the quality of life remains very high – safety, domestic help, world class schools, healthcare and proximity for global travel are all big advantages.

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