Average Salaries in UAE Are Now Higher Than Most of Europe and Rest of the World

In the heart of the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands tall not only as a beacon of economic prosperity but also as a premier destination for professionals seeking lucrative career opportunities. In particular, the UAE’s job market has garnered attention for its remarkable salary structures, placing it among the top-ranking countries globally in terms of employee compensation.

Employee salaries in the UAE stand out as the highest across the Middle East and Arab World, placing among the top 20 countries worldwide in 2024. With an average gross monthly wage of $3,663 (Dh13,400), the UAE ranks 18th globally.

In the Middle East region, following the UAE, Israel ($3,608; Dh13,200) boasts the next highest average wage, followed by Qatar ($3,168), Saudi Arabia ($1,888), Kuwait ($1,854), Bahrain ($1,728), Morocco ($1,657), and Oman ($1,626).

Notably, the average monthly salary in the UAE surpasses that of France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Austria, and over 170 other countries.

The allure of higher salaries has led to an influx of professionals and workers from Asia, the US, Europe, and the Middle East to the UAE. A recent statement from the chairman of a prominent Dubai property developer during a Ramadan gathering emphasized the growing confidence of Western professionals in Dubai, attributing this shift to tax-free salaries, safety, security, and competitive remuneration matching advanced Western countries.

Projections from Mercer suggest a four percent average increase in salaries in the UAE this year. Andrew El Zein, principal for careers in the MENA region at Mercer, highlighted the UAE’s attractiveness for foreign workers, citing the presence of numerous multinational firms. He noted heightened competition within the UAE and from neighboring countries in the region vying to attract and retain talent.

According to the “Salary Guide UAE 2024” report by Cooper Fitch, 53 percent of UAE firms intend to raise their employees’ salaries in 2024. Among them, 39 percent plan to increase wages by up to 5 percent, while nearly one in ten aim for a rise between 6 to 9 percent, and five percent anticipate an increase of 10 percent or more.

On a global scale, European countries lead in average wages, with Switzerland ($8,111) taking the top spot, followed by Luxembourg ($6,633), the US ($6,455), Iceland ($6,441), and Norway ($5,665). Conversely, African nations exhibit the lowest monthly wages, with Lesotho ($24), Angola ($27), Malawi ($31), Mali ($34), and North Korea ($37) featuring at the bottom of the list.

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