Macdonald & Company unveils 3rd ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ at ‘Cityscape Dubai 2009’

Published October 5th, 2009 - 09:16 GMT

Macdonald & Company, the leading property recruitment specialist, has unveiled the third ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ today (October 05, 2009) at the opening of ‘Cityscape Dubai 2009’ at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre. According to the survey, the average base salary of regional real estate professionals across all disciplines is USD 10,340 (AED 38,040) per month - a figure that exceeds 2007 numbers by 7.2 per cent, but reflects a 3.7 per cent drop from last year. Completed in collaboration with The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and (CI), the annual survey is the most comprehensive survey undertaken for the property sector.


Further findings from the survey revealed that only 21 per cent of respondents received an increase in base salary this year - significantly down from 71 per cent the previous year. Moreover, 19 per cent of the respondents have received a salary reduction (versus 1 per cent last year), while 37 per cent experienced no change in salary (versus 35 per cent last year). Assessing current market sentiment, the study listed salary and responsibility as the most important factors when it comes to job satisfaction, followed closely by job security (up by 13 per cent on last year) and career progression. Interestingly, the offer of a better salary is still the most likely impetus for changing job being cited by respondents.


“There are early signs of improvement in the world economy, but confidence and availability of capital continue to severely affect the real estate market. Despite the current economic climate, the job market has not and will not grind to a halt. Many organisations are taking the opportunity to ‘up skill’ or expand teams that have suffered long term skill shortages,” said William Buck, Director, Macdonald & Company. “Also, there is an emergence of a new breed of professionals whose proficiency lies in maximising the value of real estate assets, as companies are restructuring, refinancing and re-determining their position in line with current market conditions. Employers who take time to study the results of the ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ will be rewarded with a unique insight into the current position and new developments in the market.”


A total of 2,083 Middle East real estate professionals - double the number of participants last year - took part in the online survey by Macdonald & Company, which was conducted in July and August 2009. Of the total number of respondents, 43 per cent are working in Dubai (down by 27 per cent compared to last year), while 19 per cent are working in Abu Dhabi (up by 5 per cent since 2008). This year’s survey was also participated in by a respectable percentage of respondents from other Middle East countries. Insights from the survey also showed that respondents are far more likely to consider working in other Middle East locations than in previous years, which shows a general confidence in the region and a desire to continue their careers here.


“The real estate industry will continue to evolve over the next few years, bringing with it new opportunities for professionals. The long-term prospects of the region - driven mainly by its strong fundamentals - remain vibrant. Forty-six per cent of the respondents still strongly believe that the property market will get better over the next 12 months. This illustrates that property professionals believe that the Middle East is the major global real estate market to work in at present. Macdonald & Company recognises the importance of providing honest, consultative advice and we are proud to launch this year’s ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ to visitors here at ‘Cityscape Dubai 2009’,” concluded Matthew Taylor, Director, Macdonald & Company.


Regional clients, professionals and global visitors can discover more about the current salary trends in the real estate sector at the Macdonald & Company stand (4A05, Hall 4) at the event, where it will also be providing consultancy advice to interested parties for the duration of the show. Macdonald & Company will be offering free copies of the executive summary and key findings of the survey at their stand at Cityscape. A free online version of the survey is available on and In addition, a more comprehensive online statistics package is available at a cost for those who wish to use the survey in more detail, for benchmarking, budgeting and planning purposes.

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