Pay rises better in Saudi Arabia than UAE says Hays

More professionals in Saudi Arabia benefitted from a pay rise in 2019 than those in the UAE, according to research from recruitment giant Hays.

The ‘Hays Saudi Arabia Salary and Employment Trends’ report reveals 45% of employees experienced a pay increase in Saudi Arabia, the most common being an increase of 5-10%, while in the UAE 40% received a salary rise, most commonly by less than 5%.

Looking ahead, 64% of employers and 63% of employees expect salaries to increase in Saudi Arabia this year, more than the 57% of employees who said the same in the UAE.

Chris Greaves, MD of Hays in the Gulf region, said the statistics are not surprising given the massive investment programme to deliver Saudi Vision 2030 and the hive of activity this is creating in the Kingdom.

“Job numbers in Saudi Arabia are buoyant and demand for talent has increased significantly. In turn, employers are having to be competitive with the salaries they offer in order to attract the very best individuals over the competition.

“As the main business hub in Saudi Arabia, it is not surprising that Riyadh was home to the greatest number of pay increases, as competition amongst employers for top talent is highest here and increasing salaries is one of the sure ways to secure this talent in the short term.

“That being said, we are seeing companies be selective about who and how they offer pay rises. As the statistics show, still more than half of working professionals in Saudi Arabia did not receive any change to their salary in 2019 and increases are not all that easy to come by.

“As with the rest of the GCC, salary increases which embrace everyone in in the company are not all that common. Instead, employers are being strategic about the remuneration they offer – based on individual employee performance - in order to best manage their bottom line.”

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