Revealed: UAE and Saudi Arabia Job & Salary Trends in 2020

Salaries are likely to witness an average rise of three per cent (3%) across sectors in Saudi Arabia in 2020. However, salaries will remain flat across most sectors in the United Arab Emirates next year.

According to 2020 Salary Guide reports by recruitment giant Cooper Fitch, both the countries will see an improvement in the employment market in 2020.

UAE Salary and Market Predictions for 2020

“Salaries remain broadly flat across most sectors, predicting 1% increase in market salary ranges for new hires in 2020 on average across all sectors,” said the report. UAE workers will see an increased job stability following a spate of restructurings and mergers since the oil dip.

The most significant market-range salary increase of five per cent (5%) is likely to be in the strategy sector next year. However, investment management, manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors will see a modest increment of two per cent (2%).

Accounting and finance and back-office banking functions may see a slight decrease in salary ranges offered to new hires, while salaries for functions such as human resources, sales and marketing, and legal industries is not likely to change in 2020.

“The infrastructure, real estate, tourism and entertainment projects underway as part of Expo 2020 Dubai, the global six-month mega-event set to commence next October 2019, are expected to significantly boost the job market and create fresh revenue streams in the coming months,” adds the report.

The report further highlights that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows increased by $31 million between 2017 and 2018, reaching $10.3 billion.”This increase was mainly due to investment in a diverse range of sectors, from oil and gas to digital technologies., the UAE is regaining its growth momentum with a positive impact on employment trends,” it states.

The federal government is rolling out initiatives to boost and diversify the economy in line with its Vision 2021 agenda, while Abu Dhabi’s AED50 billion ‘Ghadan 21’ stimulus package is rejuvenating industries and encouraging higher levels of foreign direct investment.

Saudi Arabia Salary and Market Predictions for 2020

In Saudi, the most significant market-range salary increase for 2020 is within the strategy sector at six per cent (6%). This is followed by investment management and sales and marketing with the expected rate of five per cent (5%), and accounting and finance with four per cent (4%). Advisory, banking & financial services, legal and investment management and public sector roles are expected to increase market-rate salaries by three percent (3%).

FDI inflows increased by 24 per cent in Q1 2019, propelled by major investor deals and giga-projects. In first half of 2019, new foreign investor licenses rose by 85% Saudi launched VENTURE, a new initiative aimed at attracting global venture capital (VC) firms. The platform will provide streamlined licensing processes for VC portfolio companies.

Under Saudi Vision 2030 economic diversification roadmap is underway, with GDP growth for 2020 expected at a healthy rate of 2.2% bringing benefits to the employment market as new jobs are created across multiple industries.

“State entities are being privatised, reforms are being implemented to make it easier to set up new businesses and attract foreign capital, and a swathe of multibillion-dollar ‘giga-projects’ have kicked off in the country to rejuvenate commerce and culture.

“The introduction of the Saudi tourist visa this year goes hand in hand with the development of significant tourism developments such as the Red Sea project, to tempt business and leisure visitors to the kingdom and kickstart the nascent tourism industry,” says Cooper Fitch.

“The country’s female workforce is expanding as women become culturally empowered, and oil prices stabilised at $68 per barrel, boosting public sentiment. The profound changes underway in the kingdom are keeping salaries stable or rising across most industries. While the competition for top-tier Saudi national talent is applying pressure on market-rate salary ranges,” it added.

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