UAE’s financial and technology sector salaries and benefits stabilizing

Published September 27th, 2009 - 08:04 GMT

New Robert Half UAE Salary Guide 2009-2010 published

Finance & accounting best performer, support functions and sales fare less well


Despite challenging economic realities and slowed business growth in much of the world, in the UAE demand for highly skilled finance and accounting, banking and technology professionals in a number of specialties remains. These are the findings of Robert Half UAE, the local office of Robert Half, the world’s leading specialized recruitment company, which today publishes its Salary Guide UAE 2009-2010.


The Salary Guide, which Robert Half publishes across global markets annually, has been produced for the UAE for the first time this year, with data collated from 75 locally based finance managers and 75 HR managers in the finance and technology sectors.  Salaries covered in the guide include almost 50 positions in finance and accounting, financial services and technology, each weighted according to experience ranging from less than two years’ service, to more than 15 years’.


Market trends identified by the company include a continued demand for finance and accounting specialists, with a drop in demand for support functions like Human Resources and IT and a similarly reduced demand and decrease in remuneration for front end-sales functions in the finance and technology sectors.


James Sayer, Senior Manager at Robert Half UAE, says:

 “Finance and accounting has fared better than other sectors due to the need to have strong F&A functions during a downturn, with a real focus on treasury, financial control and accounts payable positions. For candidates in these roles, we’ve seen salaries remain constant throughout the downturn.  Support functions, like human resources and IT, have fared less well, as some employers may still be of the opinion that these roles don’t provide immediate visible bottom line benefits to businesses. There are also a number of candidates in these roles on the market in the UAE, leading to a depreciation of salaries.


“Front end sales functions have also suffered slightly. The fact that consumer confidence has been hit hard in the last few months means that there is still a lack of demand for candidates with this skills set.  In banking, there was a decrease in demand due to the lack of confidence in banking sector, but in recent weeks this has now turned and is picking up.  Salaries in this sector have remained fairly constant with minimal depreciation.”


Top UAE performers in the guide include managing directors in financial services with more than 15 years’ experience, who can expect annual salaries in excess of US$350,000; and chief financial officers of similar standing, who take home packages of between US$250,000-400,000. For those with less than two years’ experience under their belts, the allure of banking is still clear, with junior private bankers starting on US$100,000p.a.  Junior programme and project managers in the technology sector with 3-5 years’ experience can also expect significant rewards, with annual UAE salaries of between US$80,000-112,500.


Sayer says:

 “During the last year we have seen salaries in Middle Eastern markets normalize, especially among expats. Previously, expats with a specific profile could enjoy large annual pay increases. However, this has not been the case this year. Now, the main economic boost for those working in the UAE and the wider region stems from working in a tax-free environment. 


“For 2010, we expect many companies to start hiring again as in many cases they cut too deeply in their costs at the beginning of this year, but we do not expect major salary increases or decreases. This is due to the fact that the current salary climate is more realistic and a lot healthier for businesses in general.”


The Robert Half Salary Guide UAE is distributed free of charge to Robert Half clients. It provides a forecast of salaries for finance and accounting, financial services, and technology professionals in the UAE and has been designed to provide hiring managers with clear benchmarks in today's uncertain economy. The publication can be used as a guideline for employers as well as employees to make better-founded business and career decisions. Companies of all sizes and from all types of industries require talented finance and accounting teams to manage initiatives essential to business. Hiring managers with access to the most current compensation and employment trends in their industries and geographies are consequently in the best position to recruit and retain top performers.



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