After squirming in a three-year spell of global recession, the UAE is slowly but steadily treading on a path of recovery. As the economy improves, employees in the country can expect a salary hike of more than 5% this year, experts said.
Professionals in the financial services and oil and gas sector are likely to record highest increase in salaries in 2013, followed by technology and human resources professionals.
James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East, said: “While it may not be the double digit salary rises we witnessed a few years back, companies are increasing remuneration in an effort to attract, recruit and retain top talent.”
“There is a shortage of professionals in the financial sector and IT security. Many companies are turning to expatriate recruitment to fill the gap, whereas others are increasing salaries and benefits to attract highly skilled local candidates to their companies,” Sayer added.According to a 2013 Robert Half salary guide, average hikes by specialty include:
Recruitment for finance and accounting professionals will continue to gain momentum and is expected to remain buoyant throughout the year. There remains a shortage for HR professionals and this has increased expatriate recruitment, although at a more modest level than other professions like financial services and IT, Sayer said.
Suhail Misry, Vice President of Sales at Bayt.com, has many reasons to concur salary hikes will be more than 5% in the UAE.
According to a survey done by the recruitment firm, 57% of UAE professionals believe salaries are generally increasing in the country. Moreover, 49% of UAE professionals stated they expect their personal finances to be better in a year’s time.
[RELATED STORY: Best companies to work for in the UAE]Bayt.com is the largest online recruitment firm in the Middle East. The company claims 10,000 new registrations a day and partnerships with more than 40,000 employers from the region.
However, average salary hikes in the UAE for this year will lag behind those of other Gulf countries, a report by consultants Aon Hewitt has revealed.
Wages in the UAE are expected to rise 5.1% compared to a GCC-wide increase of 5.4%. A salary increase of 6.08% is projected in 2013 for the wider Middle East.
SALARY HIKES EXPLAINED
Quite unlike the previous years where recession struck deep into the workforce and many professionals suffered unemployment, pay cuts or deferred salary hikes, companies now have reasons to better rewards.
Misry from Bayt.com said: “The reasons for salary hikes are inflation/rise in cost of living, growth in job opportunities, economic growth in the country, and intense competition for talent. Currently we are seeing all these factors taking their course in this country.”
The UAE economy is forecast to grow by nearly 4% in 2013. A Bayt survey points out a 28% rise in the cost of living in the UAE due to increasing rents and possible salary hikes. And with construction and financial activities picking up, the coming months are likely to offer many new jobs.
Sayer from Robert Half, said: "New job opportunities will help first timers to start their career with a good salary. It will prompt companies to better rewards and retain their star performers. And for those contemplating a job change, rewards and salary hikes could only be better in a new place."
[RELATED GALLERY: Highest paid UAE jobs in 2012]