The average salary for expats working in the Gulf States has gone down – but it doesn’t mean they are being paid less.
The salary survey for 2018 carried out has undergone some counting changes that has seen the amount reduce because the index has added several tiers of lower paid jobs.
The average monthly salary for Gulf expats is $8,083 – 26% down on last year.
The figure varied between countries – the Saudi average was down 34.21%, the Kuwait average 27.73%, the United Arab Emirates average 26.74%, while for Bahrain, the figure was reduced by 25.18% and Oman, by 25.2%.
The survey has also done away with splitting expats between Western, Arab and Asian workers, instead assessing all expats together.
The top two positions in the Gulf for expats are CEO or managing director of a multinational company, which was up 2.95% from $33,988 to $34,990 and that of a CEO/MD of a local company was up 13.25% from $22,031 to $24,950.
The agency explains that a CEO/MD’s home country had little impact on the salary they are paid.
Average salaries range considerably between countries.
Saudi Arabia’s average expat salary is $8,560 a month – with a differential for each other Gulf country.
That’s 2.9% more than the UAE; 8.4% of Bahrain, 8.7% more than Oman and 8.96% more than Kuwait. Qatar is not included due to political tension and sanctions that are in place.
The recruitment agency explains that does not mean that Saudi Arabia pays the best salary for each role – just that the average across the board is higher.
Firms plan to hire
For example, Bahrain pays the best head teacher salary ($11,530 a month) and Kuwait pays the top salary for a general doctor ($5,150 a month).
Small and medium private enterprises were expected to be the main hirers in the coming months.
Three out of four firms say they intend to hire within three months and nine out of 10 have plans to do so within 12 months.
“The Middle East’s overall transformation is an attractive option for career-minded expats, especially in sectors like real estate, construction, infrastructure and banking,” they said
“In addition, the quality of life remains very high – safety, domestic help, world class schools, healthcare and proximity for global travel are all big advantages.