Persian Gulf Salaries Rise by 9%, Gulf Talent Says

USA, 30 Sep 2007

Salaries in six Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, rose by an average of 9 percent in the last year, according to a survey by online recruitment firm Gulf Talent.

People working in the construction, banking and energy industries received the highest pay increases, said the survey, received by e-mail today. Rapid economic growth, competition for talent and rising living costs were the main reasons for higher wages, Gulf Talent said.

Inflation has risen in the Persian Gulf as record oil prices have fueled an economic boom across the region. Qatar has the highest inflation in the region, slowing to 12.8 percent in the second quarter. Inflation in the U.A.E. rose to a record 9.3 percent in 2006 from 6.3 percent in 2005.

``The continuing depreciation of dollar-pegged regional currencies is diminishing the value of Gulf compensation packages for European expatriates, putting further upward pressure on salaries,'' the survey said.

In addition, ``Kuwait's decision earlier this year to drop the dollar peg, and the subsequent 3 percent appreciation of its currency, are increasing the competitiveness of Kuwaiti salaries relative to its neighbors and may intensify the pressure on other GCC countries to follow suit,'' Gulf Talent wrote, referring to the six-nation the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Oman's salaries rose 11 percent, the fastest of the six, with the U.A.E. second at 10.7 percent, according to the survey. Salaries in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, advanced 7.7 percent, the slowest of the six Arab oil producers.