The UAE job market is headed for a much-needed job stability boost in 2020 following a spate of restructurings and mergers that have jolted workforce hirings and compensation.
But while this is a positive attribute, salaries are largely expected to remain broadly flat across most sectors in the UAE.
In its 2020 UAE Salary Guide, Cooper Fitch predicts that UAE salaries will remain broadly flat across most sectors.
However, the report also singles out specific industries that are poised to experience the most significant market-range salary increase for 2020.
According to the latest salary guide, the salaries in the strategy sector is expected to grow by five percent while those in the investment management, manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors will experience a modest increase of about two percent.
Accounting and finance and back-office banking functions report a slight decrease in the salary ranges offered to new hires, while functions such as human resources, sales and marketing and legal do not expect to change in 2020, the report added.
Speaking at the unveiling of the report, Trefor Murphy, Cooper Fitch founder and chief executive officer was optimistic that despite the marginal salary increases, UAE’s development projects would significantly boost the job market and create fresh revenue streams in the months ahead.
However, staff retention coupled with stiff competition from the public sector, incoming technological changes and neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia are some of the key challenges organizations in the UAE will be facing.
“Organizations are, however, still finding it difficult to retain top talent some of whom are increasingly joining the public sector or looking for greener pastures in neighboring countries,” said Murphy.
The guide unveils expected salary ranges for new hires in the market across the following industries and core functions for 2020:
– Accounting and finance
– Human resources
– Investment Management
– Manufacturing and supply chain
– Public sector
– Sales and marketing
Non-oil growth could exceed 1 per cent in 2019 and pick up to around 3 per cent in 2020, the fastest since 2016, on the back of Expo 2020 and fiscal stimulus.
The federal government is rolling out initiatives to boost and diversify the economy in line with its Vision 2021 agenda, while Abu Dhabi’s Dh50 billion ‘Ghadan 21’ stimulus package is rejuvenating industries and encouraging higher levels of foreign direct investment.
Oil prices have stabilised at around $68 per barrel and inflation has dipped suggesting overall modest growth for the UAE, boosted by robust sovereign wealth fund reserves and a zero-deficit federal budget planned for 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 months ahead.
The UAE must also grasp with both hands the incoming technological changes that promise to disrupt industries, to ensure that they generate, not threaten, future roles.