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More UAE Businesses Have Plans to Hire in 2011


UAE : 21 December 2010

Companies in the UAE are expressing their confidence in 2011 as a launching pad for recovery in the economy, according to survey data released by Mercer.

The international HR firm reported that a growing amount of businesses are going to create jobs in the United Arab Emirates in 2011 as well as planning to raise their levels of pay over the next year.  Mercer released this information in the 2010 total remuneration survey.

Head of the Mercer survey practice for the Gulf region, Bassam Gazal, noted that the trend of staff reduction is coming to a close.  When speaking to Khaleej Times Gazal stated that around two thirds, or 66 percent, of the 140 UAE businesses involved in the survey had plans to increase staff next year.  None of those businesses had plans to cut the total staff count.

Gazal said that this marks a big change in the corporate mood and future plans.  Mercer expects to see deeper optimism throughout January and the early parts of 2011.

Salary increases are also looking good, with an average hike of about 6.2 percent in 2011 for UAE companies, a significant jump from the 5.2 percent wage increase in 2010.  None of the business reported plans for a wage freeze.

Abu Dhabi continues to be a thriving location.  Looking at next year, average wage increases seen in Abu Dhabi are likely to be 1.3 percent above those seen in Dubai.  The housing allowances handed out continue to dominate the range of allowances given across the UAE and there could be as much as a 43 percent difference in those figures between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Oxana Nagy is the survey project manager for the UAE.  Nagy made note of a strengthening move around the Emirates to release variable bonuses to staff that are based on both individual and corporate levels of performance.

Nagy stated that this occurred more often the farther up the management chain you went.  It was also noted that last year’s weaker results impacted the amount of bonuses paid out and that executives felt that drop over the previous year’s amount.

Mercer’s survey went across a wide range of sectors such as high tech, energy and consumer goods, highlighting the patterns of compensation from the highest executive level down to those in administration.

This same survey is conducted by Mercer covering over one hundred different nations and more than 450 benchmarks.

There were 140 businesses that took part in the UAE survey that totaled over 100,000 employees.

Survey figures reported that local firms paid on average 27 percent higher base wages across the entire staff and when looking at local and multinational firms, the average guaranteed cash difference went up to 33 percent.

Even though the increases in salary recorded for 2010 and those expected next year will not reach levels seen before the economic crisis, the raises are above inflation rates indicating that individual purchasing power is on the rise as well, according to Gazal.

This would be good news of the type that hasn’t been seen in the region for quite awhile.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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