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UAE Salaries expected to remain flat in 2016

Morgan McKinley has released its latest UAE Salary Guide. The guide provides insight into hiring and salary trends for 2016 and predictions for the year ahead.


The Morgan McKinley 2016 UAE Salary Guide highlights that:


  • Oil and gas recruitment market is set to have its most difficult year for more than a decade in 2016
  • Nationalisation targets mean that locals with relevant experience, or professionals with local experience will be highly attractive to employers across all sectors in the region
  • Government efforts to diversify the UAE economy will lead to employers driving hiring in 2016 in manufacturing companies that produce aviation supplies, fast-moving consumer goods, medical devices and pharmaceuticals
  • FMCG and pharmaceutical employers will hire professionals with experience in accounting and finance; manufacturing and engineering and supply chain and procurement to grow their business
  • Salaries will largely remain flat in 2016


Morgan McKinley state that whilst it was expecting the financial services to have a buoyant year in 2016, as the Abu Dhabi Global Market became fully operational in 2016, this now looks unlikely as it looks at the year ahead. Graduates with a finance-related degree continue to be particularly sought after by both local and international employers in the region. Senior risk and compliance officers, with several years’ experience, are also in high demand as banks look to comply with stringent rules set by regulators.


Although salaries are expected to remain broadly flat this year, there are some significant increases for certain roles compared with the previous year.


Trefor Murphy, managing director of Morgan McKinley UAE, commented, “Since the outlook for 2016 is highly uncertain, some ‘doom and gloom’ is starting to creep into market sentiment. Whilst the UAE economy is highly diversified and complex, it is still heavily reliant on natural resources, which affects all industries and professional disciplines. Undoubtedly the year ahead will be difficult for the UAE, but the government is making the right decisions to ensure that it balances its fiscal budgets and does not fall back into recession.


“We expect salaries to remain broadly flat during the coming year with workers more concerned about remaining employed than pushing for substantial pay increases. There are significant divergences around this forecast, however, with some sectors likely to perform better than others, leading to respective salary growth. For example, a greater demand for consultancy services whilst there’s a hold on permanent headcount hiring. We are hopeful that salaries will increase above 2015 levels in the second half of 2016, but this will largely depend on what happens to oil prices as the year progresses.”


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