It’s doom and gloom all over the place – cutbacks, austerity, job losses and politicians meant to serve us who can’t seem to get their act together. It’s enough to make the most patriotic of citizens look elsewhere to better their prospects. So what about the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where companies there are always on the lookout for the brightest and the best?
It’s a country well worth considering, not least because of the high salaries paid. Thousands of Americans live and work in the UAE already, enjoying the sort of lifestyle most people back home would give their eye teeth for. And for many, it provides the perfect opportunity to rid themselves of debt from all the credit cards, store cards and personal loans which seem so much a part of daily life in the USA. Where else can you do all of that and at the same time put a little something by for a rainy day? It’s a thought.
Now, if you’re thinking the UAE is all desert and nothing much else then think again. It’s one of the most breath-taking and forward-looking countries in the Middle East. With incredible cities like Dubai a beacon of modernity, millions of people from all around the world both visit and live and work in the oil-rich Persian Gulf state. And while half the planet still seems to be struggling with the economic downturn, most countries in the region appear to be coping rather well.
Indeed, it does seem every other month another new billion-dollar infrastructure project is announced, holding out the prospect of yet more jobs and increased prosperity for the region. Of course, that usually means higher salaries paid as companies compete with each other to attract the best minds and talents for the job.
A report out last year which contained the results of a survey of hundreds of companies across the Gulf region certainly bears that out. The 2012 Total Remuneration Survey carried out by Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, found that salaries in UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were expected to increase by 5-6% in 2013. So more money in the pocket for all!
And more jobs, too. For the survey also found that 70% of companies were anticipating growth within various departments as they looked to accelerate recruitment in 2013. However, there was a slight note of caution sounded by Zaid Kamhawi, Mercer’s IPS Business Leader in the Middle East.
While the results represented good news for the Gulf’s positioning relative to other parts of the world, he said, companies were still cautious about the impact of regional and global events on local economic activity.
He said, “Broadly, economic activity across the Gulf region has been solid in most areas but the social, political and economic transformation under way in some parts of the broader MENA region mean that business leaders are still exercising caution.”
Multinational firms, he added, with headquarters in Europe or the US and with Middle East operations, perceived the MENA – Middle East and North Africa – region as a bright spot for investment and one of their key growth regions. As a result, companies were competing to attract and retain valuable talent in the foreseeable future.