GCC Compensation and Benefits Employer Trends 2017

By The HR Observer for the 21st Compensation & Benefits Forum 2017

2016 was a year marked by uncertainty across a wide range of global markets
and industries. The GCC continues to feel the effects of this ongoing trend, despite
many of the member states’ governments successfully implementing economic
diversification reforms in an effort to lessen their reliance on hydrocarbon-based
wealth.

As 2017 unfolds, GCC-based companies in many key industries have been expressing
a mix of pessimism and optimism regarding their predictions on the region’s
economic future. According to a recent report from Emirates Investment Bank, 85% of
high net worth individuals (HNWIs) across the region feel that the current situation is
either worse or unchanged.

However, the same report suggests that 75% of HNWIs are optimistic about the
economic prospects for the Gulf region over the next three to five years, as they
predict a return to a more favourable oil price, combined with the growing strength
of the GCC’s increasingly diversified economies. Add the forthcoming introduction
of VAT into the mix, and it’s clear to see that opinion regarding the GCC’s economic
future is split.

This divided sense of perspective has had a marked impact on the compensation and
benefits environment across the GCC, as C&B teams attached to more pessimistic
companies are fervently trying to control costs, reduce headcounts and curb rising
issues such as inflated healthcare costs. At the same time, companies with a
more positive outlook regarding the near future are focusing much more heavily on
improving employee retention and engagement, reducing attrition and designing
fairer, more appealing performance-based C&B packages and strategies.

Download the report for an insight into


  1. Salary increases, bonuses and attrition rates in the GCC: A new norm of lower increases
  2. Areas of focus for the C&B community: Cost control verses performance management
  3. Implications of VAT 2018
  4. Key challenges for total rewards in 2017
  5. Most costly areas of C&B
  6. A compilation of career advice from C&B professionals themselves