UAE Managers are the Best Paid and Enjoy a Stronger Buying Power in the MEA Region

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Middle manager roles in the UAE earn a gross base salary of US$95,120 a year, while an entry level professional makes US$25,752

Middle managers in the UAE are the best paid when compared to their peers in the Middle East & Africa region, while entry level staff rank second, according to the latest Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report, launched by Willis Towers Watson, the global advisory, broking and solutions company.

In its report, Willis Towers Watson found that the typical middle manager in the UAE earns a gross base salary of US$95,120 a year, and an entry level professional makes US$25,752.

An attractive tax policy means that the ‘buying power’ of an employee’s salary in the UAE is significantly greater than that of many markets across the Middle East & Africa, such as South Africa or Morocco. When salary figures are adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), which takes buying power into account, UAE’s middle managers rank in second place for relative wealth, and entry level professional staff in the UAE rank third place.

Laurent Leclère, Willis Towers Watson’s senior consultant and data services lead for the Middle East, said: “This salary data is often used for supporting international mobility and highlighting the importance of establishing an appropriate remuneration package when moving an employee between any two locations. We can see that the UAE is one of the best markets for employees to enjoy a high buying power in the region”.

For middle managers, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had the second highest gross salaries in the MEA region, , at an average of US$90,331. However, KSA has the highest pay for entry level roles, with US$27,403 on average.

Commenting on the overall MEA region results, Laurent Leclère said: “The effectiveness of direct cash as a reward tool can be impacted by a variety of influences which may behave differently across diverse countries. It is interesting to note that UAE managers are the best paid in the MEA region. This is a good sign for both entry levels and middle managers, as the attractive salary packages offered in the UAE will impact other factors such as employee satisfaction and loyalty towards the company, making the UAE an attractive country to develop a professional career.

APPENDIX 1

2016 Median Gross Base Salary for the MEA region, US$

Country Entry Level Rank Middle Manager Rank
Algeria 8,572 6 33,845 7
Egypt 6,745 8 36,835 6
Morocco 11,869 5 61,658 4
Nigeria 18,214 3 63,498 3
Saudi Arabia 27,403 1 90,331 2
South Africa 16,163 4 51,330 5
Tunisia 8,396 7 27,780 8
United Arab Emirates 25,752 2 95,120 1


2016 Median Relative Buying Power for the MEA region, US$

Country Entry Level Rank Middle Manager Rank
Algeria 9,241 7 32,018 7
Egypt 8,097 8 40,849 6
Morocco 14,135 4 55,145 4
Nigeria 12,864 5 42,418 5
Saudi Arabia 29,689 1 97,869 1
South Africa 26,180 2 69,432 3
Tunisia 9,587 6 28,730 8
United Arab Emirates 25,184 3 93,025 2