GCC salaries to see further improvement in 2017

Author: PM editorial | Date: 14 Sep 2016

Salaries in the GCC are set to rise by 4.7 per cent next year – a higher rate than 2016, despite the impact of lower oil prices

Salaries across the GCC are set to rise 4.7 per cent on average in 2017, according to new projections from professional services organisation Aon Hewitt.
Its annual Global Salary Increase Survey revealed that Saudi Arabia is expected to see the highest average increase - up 4.9 per cent – with Kuwait not far behind on 4.8 per cent.
Bahrain (+4.7 per cent), Oman (+4.6 per cent), UAE (+4.6 per cent) and Qatar (+4.5 per cent) are all expected to see increases of more than four per cent.
Last year saw average salaries in the GCC increase by 4.3 per cent, however this was down on earlier projections for 2016, which had hovered around the 5 per cent mark.
While the region has been suffering from the impact of lower oil prices and reduced public spending, the results of the survey suggest this has not had the disastrous impact on salaries that many had anticipated.
“While 2016 proved to be a challenging period for economic expansion in some markets, over the next few years new policies governing inflation, taxation, diversification and commodity pricing are anticipated to come into effect and lead to a general upswing in GCC salaries,” said the report.
Robert Richter, GCC compensation survey manager at Aon Hewitt Middle East, said that while lower oil prices were likely to continue to moderate the region’s economic growth this year, “a refreshed focus on non-oil sectors along with sustained programmes of state investment should underpin GDP expansion into 2017”.
According to the report, salary increases in 2016 were highest in the pharmaceutical, media and food/beverage/tobacco industries, with construction, telecoms and oil and gas seeing the most constrained rises.
The global survey comprises the views of more than 16,000 employers in 120 different countries, including approximately 600 organisations in the GCC.