7 Mar 2015

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How to Get a Pay-Hike in the UAE?


The UAE has been buzzing lately, either due to the career opportunities, which seem to be brimful or the booming sectors, which are pushing the economy’s growth beyond its limits. Of course, any aspiring professional would vouch for a career in this country happily.

But have you ever given the remuneration prospects some serious consideration?

Obviously, a country where an accountant earns AED 69,284 and a marketing manager earns AED 203,277 (as on 10th Dec 2014), salary is not that big a problem. Plus, there sure are factors like the current talent-crunch and increased job vacancies that indicate towards a hefty pay hike during 2015.
However, a reputed gulf-based website suggests that an average salary increase of 4.8% is expected in 2015.

Yes, these facts might seem contradicting, but UAE is always known to harbor uncertainties that transform into results favoring a people inclusive growth.

Hence, the discussion to follow will talk about certain common yet overlooked aspects that need a fair share of your focus. Heeding to these, you can easily gain a pay hike, while working in this exotic Arab land.

Dart sufficient glances and arm yourself to success!

What makes up your basic salary/ compensation package in the UAE?

Before we progress towards the right way to go about it, it’s quite imperative to consider the chunks that add on to form the basic salary or your overall package in the country.
·         Basic Remuneration
·         Paid annual leave for 30 days (21 days during the first year of employment)
·         Medical insurance by the government (some employers provide private medical insurance post the probation period)
·         The costs associated with the recruitment process and getting the visa processed
·         Gratuity Amount
·         Travelling allowance for the flight back to your country, after the expiry of your work contract


How to Go About It?

You Need to Do Your Homework
Before you put your case forth, you need to undergo some research. It’s quite significant to know what someone with the same position and the years of experience typically gets paid in the UAE. This will help you draw a much accurate comparison. Websites like PayScale and Hays might prove handy during this step.

The salary might also vary from emirate to emirate. For instance, a civil engineer earning AED 115,274 in Dubai might make AED 123,147 (as on 10th Dec 2014), while working in Abu Dhabi.

In addition to this, the company structure in many of the companies includes a family hierarchy. Try to find the one associated with your employer. Who knows, nepotism might just work!

Get Your Objectives in Line
Walking into a negotiation without a clean set of justified goals might make the whole process futile. Define the raise you’re aiming for and don’t be afraid to quote a figure that’s high, unless it’s unrealistic. Validate the figure by drawing a clear picture of your efforts and the expenses you bear, while workingin the UAE.


Go for a Contract Compliant Negotiation
Before you start haggling, remember that the increase you expect might not be more than the stipulated salary rate in your employment contract. This generally holds valid throughout the term of your work contract in the UAE. For example, minimum wage laws exist in a lot of countries except for Dubai, where the employers aren’t bound to give 13th month cheques or any annual hike.



Consider Other Perks too!
While a pay-hike might not be guaranteed, it’s a worthwhile idea to consider other perks associated with your job. Some of them include:
·         Relocation assistance
·         Private medical insurance
·         Accommodation and transportation allowances
·         Vehicular allowance
·         Food allowance
·         Furnishing allowance
·         Mobile phone allowance


Heed to the Social Conventions in the Country
Working in the country, by now you must be accustomed to the social norms practiced. Keeping the fact that the decision taking authority would probably be a local senior official, in mind, there are certain subtleties that need your attention. For instance, scheduling the meeting on Friday (the prayer day) might not be a worthwhile idea. Moreover, things like avoiding pointing your soles towards the counterparties and passing all documents with your right hand are other things to keep in mind.


The UAE stands today with a plethora of opportunities for one to explore a highly lucrative career, in whatever field you desire. Salary is just a single aspect, which can be taken care of, keeping the above tips in mind. All you need is to hang in there, your best is yet to be witnessed!


Anshuman Kukreti

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the gulf. 
Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

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