Introduction

• Employment and job creation remain the hottest issues in the Middle East, including in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). • This research report, produced by online recruiting firm GulfTalent.com, summarises the status of the employment market and forecasts key trends to be expected during 2012. • “Employment and Salary Trends in the Gulf” is published annually since 2005 and is the premier publication on employment trends in the Gulf region.

© GulfTalent.com 2012. All rights reserved.

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This report is based on in-depth research from a wide array of sources
Research Methodology Source Participants Selection Criteria • Professionals employed by 3,000 largest corporations in the GCC 35,000 professionals • Aged 22-60 years • Earning an annual income in the range USD 12,000 - USD 200,000

Online Survey of Candidates

Online Survey of Employers

2,100 Executives & HR Managers

• Employing 50 to 20,000 staff • Across all major industries • Mix of private sector local and international companies

Interviews with Top Managers

60 Senior Executives

• Across all major industries • Based in the 6 GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, UAE)

News & Research

• Relevant reports from the press and news sources across the region • Macro-economic sources

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Contents

• • • • • • •

Economic & Political Background.................................……….. 4 Nationalisation........................................................................... 9 Recruitment ..............................................................................13 Mobility.......................................................................................19 Salaries & Cost of Living........................................................... 25 2012 Forecast...........................................................................32 Appendix – Useful Information..................................................37

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Economic & Political Background 4 .

0% 4.4% 0. thanks to high oil prices and government spending Economic Growth 2008-2012 GCC Economic Growth World Economic Growth Crude Oil Price USD per Barrel 120 100 6.Gulf countries are experiencing high economic growth compared to the rest of the world.5% 5.2% 80 60 40 20 -2.1% 2.7% 1.2% 4.2% 4.3% 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Forecast 0 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Economist Intelligence Unit Source: Dow Jones & Company 5 .7% 2.

During 2011. Dubai debt restructuring. Tourism boost following Arab spring. some limited unrest 179 Saudi Arabia 588 67 Oman Kuwait 4.3% 358 Bahrain 2. Government spending. 2022 World Cup preparation High oil price. GulfTalent. Qatar and Saudi Arabia led economic growth in the Gulf.2% 26 Source: Economist Intelligence Unit. Government spending on infrastructure. Financial sector weakness Domestic unrest 163 UAE 3.4% High oil price.7% 17. while Bahrain saw the region’s lowest growth Gulf Economic Overview 2011 GDP Growth Key Factors Affecting Growth Size of Economy ($bn) Qatar 7.6% Completion of gas projects.0% 4.com Interviews 6 . US troops withdrawal from Iraq High oil price. Huge government spending programme Government spending.

2011 was a year of political turmoil in the Arab world Arab World – Key Popular Movements 2011 Tunisia Syria Lebanon’ Iraq Bahrain Jordan Kuwait Qatar Libya Egypt Saudi Arabia UAE Oman Revolution / Overthrow of Government Public Demonstrations On-going armed conflict Yemen 7 .

000 per month unemployment benefit − Minimum wage raised to SAR 3.One-off grant of BHD 1.000 per family .$2.000 new jobs in public sector .One-off grant of KD 1.Minimum wage increased to BHD 402 Kuwait .7bn fund to provide loan assistance for low income citizens UAE 35-100% Bahrain up to 37.50.5% Kuwait 25% Saudi Arabia 15% 50-100 Omani Rial per month Oman Source: News reports 8 .000 per citizen UAE .GCC governments have undertaken massive wealth distribution measures among their citizens Pay Rise for Nationals in Public Sector 2011 Other Government Measures 2011 Qatar 60-120% Saudi Arabia − $130bn subsidy programme − SAR 2.OMR 150 per month unemployment benefit Bahrain .000 − Large scale housing programme Oman .Minimum wage increased to OMR 200 .

Nationalisation 9 .

com Survey of HR Managers. GCC Labour Ministries 10 .Job creation for citizens through nationalisation of expatriate jobs continues to be a top priority for most GCC governments Overview of Nationalisation in Private Sector Pressure on Employers % of employers reporting nationalisation as a key human resource challenge Average Nationalisation Rate Nationals employed in private sector as % of total private sector employment (2011) Increase in Nationalisation % of companies reporting an increase in their nationalisation rate during 2011 Oman 82% 14% 36% Saudi Arabia 78% 10% 59% Bahrain 54% 20% 17% Kuwait 38% 5% 27% UAE Qatar 28% 7% 17% 17% 1% 15% Source: GulfTalent.

GCC governments have historically used a range of measures to increase employment of nationals in the private sector GCC Nationalisation – Common Government Strategies Targets & Limits Support & Facilitation Incentives & Enforcement • Targets by sector (e. Oil and Gas. HR) • Free training for nationals expatriate employee • Job centers – putting unemployed in touch with employers • Public praise / reprimand Source: Press reports.g.g.) • Employment fund (subsidising wages of newly employed nationals) • Withholding visas for expat hires • Tax on employers for each • Targets by job functions (e. Banks. etc. HR interviews 11 .

• Companies in highest ranks (‘green zone’) would be able to hire expats from companies in the ‘red zone’ without acquiring ‘no objection certificates’ (NOC). diversity of nationalities and compliance with proposed minimum wage levels. competition and commercial incentive Recent Nationalisation Initiatives Saudisation (‘Nitaqat’ – introduced June 2011) Emiratisation (Introduced December 2010) • Companies within each sector are ranked by their Saudization rate and grouped into 3 categories. and are determined based on the average of each peer group. 12 . • Zone boundaries vary by industry. • Companies are placed into one of 3 categories according to their Emiratisation level.More innovative approaches are being tried in some countries. • Companies in lower categories pay significantly higher government fees for their visa requirements. • Companies in lowest ranks (‘red zone’ ) would face difficulties in applying for new visas or even renewing existing visas. introducing elements of choice.

Recruitment 13 .

• UAE had a significant rise in job creation.Saudi Arabia leads job creation in the Gulf. while Bahrain lags the group with almost no expansion reported Employment by Country Net % of firms which increased headcount 2011 2010 Observations • Almost all Gulf countries had higher rates of job creation compared to 2010. Saudi Arabia 62% 55% Oman 56% 57% Kuwait 51% 51% 25% Qatar 37% 45% UAE 8% 22% Bahrain 23% Source: GulfTalent.com Survey of HR Managers 14 . • Bahrain had almost no job creation in 2011 following severe political tensions in the country. • Saudi Arabia had the highest rate of job creation thanks to its strong economic growth and high government spending. but it was still much lower than most Gulf countries.

com website over the specified period Note: Internet penetration and prevalence of online recruitment varies across the countries Source: GulfTalent.com 15 .000 vacancies advertised by employers and recruitment agencies on GulfTalent.com * Oman Bahrain Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE (excluding Dubai) 2% 6% 9% 8% 14% 20% 20% 18% 4% 4% 6% 14% 3% 4% 4% 16% 3% 3% 4% 17% 13% 18% 21% 22% Dubai 48% 31% 31% 37% 2008 2009 2010 2011 * Based on 68.Dubai’s share of regional recruitment activity has started to increase after two years of slowdown – due to a combination of jobs growth and staff turnover Recruitment Volume by Location % of vacancies advertised on GulfTalent.

healthcare and retail sectors are enjoying the largest headcount expansion. • Retail continued to enjoy high growth on the back of higher consumer spending and net disposable income. • Construction continued to have a low employment growth rate due to completion of old projects and lack of new ones. while banking and construction fare the worst Employment by Sector Net % of firms which increased headcount in 2011 Observations Oil & Gas Healthcare Retail Telecoms/IT Engineering Travel & Hospitality Transport & Logistics Real Estate Banking Construction 50% 46% 43% 41% 33% 28% 27% 63% 61% 60% • Oil & Gas had the highest rate of employment due to expansion plans following two years of high oil price. with some banks announcing fresh rounds of redundancies. • Healthcare also had high employment for a second year mainly due to continued government investment. Source: GulfTalent.Oil & gas.com Survey of HR Managers 16 . • Banking had one of the lowest growth rates. following increased worries about the Euro crisis.

7% Source: Economist Intelligence Unit Source: Aon Hewitt.7% Canada 2.7% 5. Hay Group.5% Australia 6% 4.1% US 3% 2008 2009 2010 2011 2.6% 6.4% Australia 5% 4% UK 3.com 17 . Gulf employers are finding hiring Western nationals easier than Asian candidates Unemployment Rate in Western Countries 2008-2012 11% 10% 9% 8% 7% Private Sector Pay Increase – Global Comparison % 2011 India France Philippines UK Canada GCC 12. GulfTalent.With Western countries facing high unemployment and low pay rises.

Expatriate Employment • Visa restrictions: Some Gulf governments have made it more difficult to apply for employment visas for expats from troubled countries. • Availability of Arab expats: More Arab expatriates are available from countries which experienced political turmoil. 18 . • Western expats: Some employers are finding it difficult to attract Western candidates. Employment of Nationals • Competition for nationals: Pay hikes awarded by governments to public sector employees. which were partly prompted by the Arab Spring. has made it harder for the private sector to attract nationals.The popular uprisings across the wider Middle East have had a mixed impact on attraction and retention of talent in the Gulf Impact of Arab Spring on Gulf Employment Key Trends • Nationalisation targets: Government pressure on private sector to hire more nationals has intensified. as they perceive the region to be unsafe following the press coverage of the Arab spring.

Mobility 19 .

with Saudi Arabia in third place Attraction of Expatriates % of GCC-based expats outside the country who wish to relocate into it Observations 70% 60% UAE 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2008 Saudi Arabia Oman Kuwait Bahrain 2009 2010 2011 Qatar • UAE has strengthened its position as the most popular destination among Gulf-based expatriates. following a sharp rise in popularity at the onset of the crisis. with its attractiveness stable. which was rapidly closing the attraction gap with the UAE. as sentiments about the UAE economy becomes more positive.com Surveys 20 . remains in second place and has lost some momentum.The UAE and Qatar remain prime destinations for expatriates. becoming the Gulf’s least attractive destination for expatriates. • Qatar. • Saudi Arabia remains in third place. Source: GulfTalent. following political tensions in the country. • Bahrain dropped from fourth place to the bottom.

Dubai remains by far the region’s most attractive city for expatriates Ranking of Gulf Cities – By Attractiveness to Expatriates % of GCC-based expats outside the city who wish to relocate into it Overall Dubai Doha Abu Dhabi Jeddah Muscat Kuwait Madina Riyadh Makkah Dammam Manama Sharjah 4% 3% 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2% 7% 22% 20% 37% Western Expats 46% 21% 26% 3% 8% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% 3% 1% Asian Expats 35% 20% 20% 7% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2% Arab Expats 38% 25% 17% 9% 2% 3% 3% 3% 2% 1% 1% 1% Source: GulfTalent.com Survey 21 .

following political tensions and slow economic growth in the country.In terms of attractiveness to expatriates living within the country. • Bahrain’s retention rate has dropped for a second year. due to a rebound in business confidence. the UAE once again retains the lead position Retention of Expatriates % of expats within the country who wish to remain there 2012 2011 Observations UAE 81% 72% • UAE’s already high retention rate has increased further. with social and family ties formed over the years discouraging expats from leaving the country.com Survey 22 . declining rents and the country’s high level of political stability. • Qatar’s retention rate remains significantly lower than UAE mainly because of laws preventing expatriates from changing jobs. • Kuwait benefits from the long-term nature of its expatriate population. Kuwait 64% 59% Saudi Arabia 49% 50% Qatar 49% 51% Bahrain 46% 50% Oman 45% 50% Source: GulfTalent.

1% 1. while Bahrain’s role as a base for working in Saudi has taken a hit Dubai-residents working in Abu Dhabi As % of all working professionals living in Dubai Bahrain-residents working in Saudi Arabia As % of all working professionals living in Bahrain 5.9% 1.1% 0.3% 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: GulfTalent.1% 1.com Surveys 23 .4% 5.2% 1.4% 2.0% 1.Abu Dhabi continues to serve as an employment hub for a portion of Dubai residents.4% 3.

but not implemented yet NOC not required if previous employer below required nationalisation targets (June 2011) Most strict in the Gulf. No indication of an imminent easing. giving consent to the expatriate being hired by another firm Source: Press reports. Already removed fully for free zones. Guide to chart Full labour mobility (NOC not required) No labour mobility (NOC fully enforced) Kuwait Saudi Arabia Qatar * No Objection Certificate – issued to expatriate employees by their employer. NOC fully enforced. through easing NOC requirements * Domestic Labour Mobility Country Bahrain Labour Mobility Recent Developments NOC requirement abolished in 2009 Oman NOC requirement abolished in 2007 UAE NOC not required after completing 2 years (Jan. New sponsorship system plans to remove NOC requirement altogether. HR interviews 24 .Governments across the Gulf are continuing to encourage labour mobility within their countries. 2011).

Salaries & Cost of Living 25 .

6% 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Forecast Source: GulfTalent.4% 9. GCC Average Salary Increase %.2012 11.0% 6.5% 5. 2007.com Surveys 26 .2% 6.Average private sector salary increase in the Gulf has remained stable. but much lower than pre-recession levels.1% 5.

7% • Oman had the highest salary increase in the Gulf. Oman enjoyed the highest average increase in pay.7% UAE 4. • Bahrain had the lowest salary increase due to lower economic growth following the political unrest.1% 5. followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar Private Sector Salary Increase by Country 2011 2010 Observations Oman 6.During 2011.com Survey 27 .5% 6. • Saudi Arabia and Qatar continued to have high salary increases on the back of strong economic developments. in part driven by widespread strikes by Omani employees and the pay hike awarded in the public sector.9% Source: GulfTalent.8% Kuwait 5.4% Saudi Arabia 6.9% 5. Qatar 5.0% 6.6% 6.2% Bahrain 4.5% 4.

Qatar 3.0% 5. • Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had the lowest salary increases in the Gulf in real terms.4% UAE 4.5% 6.9% • Despite having the lowest salary increases in the Gulf. was highest in the UAE and Bahrain Real Salary Increase by Country * Salary Rise Inflation Observations Bahrain 4.0% 6.com Survey.9% 0.5% -0.0% Saudi Arabia 1.5% 4.6% 1.9% Oman 2. Bahrain and UAE enjoyed the highest increases in real terms due to very low inflation rates.1% 4.Average pay rise net of inflation.9% 4. Economist Intelligence Unit 28 .7% * Defined as nominal pay rise net of inflation rate Source: GulfTalent.4% 5. due to relatively high inflation.0% Kuwait 0.7% 5.0% 4.

Finance 5. reflecting the rising profile and growing sophistication of the HR role. due to global shortage and on-going demand for IT professionals.9% Marketing 4. as companies continue to automate processes and seek staffing efficiencies. • IT had one of the highest increases last year.3% Engineering 5. • Admin candidates continued to have one of the lowest increases. 2011 Observations HR 6.3% • HR had the highest salary increase for a second year. as well as leaner HR operations supported by fewer staff following the crisis.6% Source: GulfTalent.com Survey 29 .HR professionals enjoyed the highest pay rise.4% IT 6. while Administration and Marketing had the lowest Salary Increase by Job Category %.3% Admin 4.5% Sales 5.

• Retail sector continued to have high salary increase in line with strong growth in the sector. • Banking sector continued to suffer for a third year.7% 5. 30 .1% 5.com Survey 6.4% 5.6% 5.4% 6.7% 5.6% 4.5% 4.0% 4.2% 5. while Real Estate had the lowest Salary Increase by Industry %. Healthcare and Retail offered the highest pay rises.3% Observations • Healthcare had the highest salary increase. following a slow rate of recovery and fresh rounds of redundancies on the back of the European debt crisis. specifically Saudi Arabia. 2011 Healthcare Retail & FMCG Telecoms & IT Oil & Gas Engineering Construction Travel & Hospitality Transport & Logistics Education Banking Real Estate Source: GulfTalent. due to increased investments by GCC governments.Among sectors. generated by high consumer spending.

000 960 910 840 710 670 1.0% 5.0% Muscat Kuwait Sharjah 1. it remains low compared to UAE and Qatar Inflation % 2011 2010 Abu Dhabi Saudi Arabia Kuwait Oman Qatar UAE Bahrain 0.4% Manama 0.0% 3.7% 4.9% -0.0% Jubail Jeddah Khobar 670 670 550 Riyadh Dammam Doha Dubai 4.930 1. 2012* Source: Economist Intelligence Unit * Average figure.2% -2.4% 4. however.9% 5. In absolute terms.590 Rent for Two-bedroom Apartment US$ per month.com Survey 31 .4% 1.9% 2.Cost of living has continued to rise in Saudi Arabia. Wide variations based on location and quality Source: GulfTalent.650 1. Kuwait and Oman.

2012 Forecast 32 .

2% 6.6% 6.9% Kuwait 4.1% Bahrain 4.9% 5.0% Oman 5.1% 4.5% UAE 5.5% 4. 2012 Forecast 2012 2011 Observations Qatar 6.com Survey of HR Managers 33 .Gulf salary rises during 2012 are expected to be broadly in line with 2011 Expected Average Pay Rise %. as companies expand to capitalise on the two countries’ strong economic growth • Bahrain is once again expected to have the region’s lowest salary increase in 2012 due to a stagnant economy following domestic unrest in 2011. Saudi Arabia 6.5% Source: GulfTalent.6% • Gulf employers generally expect similar salary increases in 2012 compared to the previous year • Qatar and Saudi Arabia are expected to have the highest increase in the Gulf and slightly higher than their 2011 levels.4% 5.

thanks to high economic growth and government spending. • Saudi Arabia is expected to continue to have the highest rate of job creation in the Gulf. • Bahrain is expected to rebound partially from a stagnant job market in 2011.com Survey of HR Managers 34 . with Saudi Arabia continuing to lead Employment Growth by Country Net % of firms increasing headcounts 2012 2011 Observations Saudi Arabia 77% 62% • All Gulf economies are expected to have higher rates of job creation in 2012 compared to the previous year.Job creation is expected to be moderately higher in 2012. but will continue to have the region’s lowest rate of job creation. Oman 73% 56% Kuwait 68% 51% Qatar 51% 65% 51% UAE 37% Bahrain 42% 8% Source: GulfTalent.

while banking and construction continue to have the lowest growth rates Employment Growth by Sector Net % of firms increasing headcounts 2012 2011 Observations • Oil & Gas is expected to have the highest expansion in 2012 due to new projects in the sector.com Survey of HR Managers 35 .Oil & gas. • Banking is expected to have the lowest rate of job creation in 2012. retail and healthcare will continue to dominate jobs growth. • Retail is expected to continue growing at a high rate due to higher net disposable income and consumer spending. due to continuing credit concerns and the Euro-zone financial crisis Oil & Gas Retail Healthcare Telecoms & IT Transport & Logistics Travel & Hospitality Engineering Real Estate Construction Banking 48% 46% 73% 72% 65% 63% 62% 62% 58% 57% 63% 60% 61% 50% 41% 43% 46% 33% 27% 28% Source: GulfTalent.

the kind of governments which are likely to emerge in place of those that have fallen. any significant fluctuations in the value of the US Dollar against other currencies could impact Gulf employers’ ability to attract and retain expatriates – particularly from major source countries such as India. including the possibility of a sovereign default. could lead to another global recession – impacting Gulf countries. and the extent to which developments in the wider Arab world will impact Gulf countries. Source: Economist Intelligent Unit.A number of external uncertainties can impact the Gulf economy and labour market during 2012 Political & Economic Uncertainties Economic Factors Political Factors • European debt crisis: Continuing bad news in Europe. GulfTalent. • Iran tensions: A possible military conflict with Iran could have unpredictable consequences for the entire Middle East region including Gulf countries. particularly the UAE which is more exposed to global trade and tourism.com Interviews 36 . • Arab spring: Significant uncertainty remains over the outcome of the conflict in Syria. • US Dollar: Given the Gulf countries’ peg to the US Dollar.

Appendix – Useful Information 37 .

6% 6.9 7.8% 3.5% 3.com Surveys 38 .4% 6.1% 2010 4.0% 3.1% 4.0% 0.0% 4.4% 4.0% 4.2% -2.8% 6.0% 3.5% 4.9% 5.7% 4.6% 4.9% 5.1% 5.4% 4.2% 4.0% 14.9% 2012 F† 4.6% 6.1% 6.7% 6.3 3.7% 5.8 28.7% 17.4% 5.4 1.5% 5.9% 5.2% 5.4% 0.0% 4.7% 2.4% 3.4% 4.5% 5.9% 2011 -0.9 3.2% 2011 4.1% Economic Growth % Real GDP Change Country Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE 2010 4.2% 4. GulfTalent.6% 7.4% 6.3% 2.1% 1.3% 2012 F† 3.5% 7.1% 5.5 † Forecast Source: Economist Intelligence Unit.4% 2011 2.5% Population (millions) Country Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE 2012 1.0% 1.9% 2012 F† 2.Useful Information Salary Rise by Country % Rise in Base Salary Country Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE Inflation Country Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE 2010 2.

com | Web: www.How GulfTalent.gulftalent.com 39 . • Send targeted emails to suitable candidates • Free Research Reports on the Middle East employment market HR Resources • Labour Laws of Gulf countries • List of HR Events including conferences.com can help you? • Register for weekly job alerts Job Opportunities • Apply to 5. seminars and training courses • Directory of HR Service Providers Tel: +971 4 367 2084 | Email: info@gulftalent.000 companies and 500 recruitment agencies in the Gulf • Build your professional CV online • Search our database of 3 million professionals Recruitment Solutions • Advertise your vacancies to over 1 million visitors per month.

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