UAE employees eye better salaries

DUBAI: As cost of living continues to soar, and no salary increase last year, five in ten people in the UAE are unhappy with their current incomes, according to a latest survey.

In the survey conducted among 12,158 residents in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) by market research company YouGov and job site, 50 percent of UAE professionals said they are were not satisfied with their current packages.

A whopping 87 percent of UAE residents, are seeing an increase in the cost of living- and consequently spending more out of their pockets- yet many, around four in ten or 40 percent, did not receive a pay raise in 2014, Gulf News reported.

The respondents reportedly attributed the increase in their cost of living expenditures to rising rents (86 percent), as well as to the increasing prices of food and beverages (59 percent) and utilities (56 percent).

As a result, people in the UAE are struggling to save a portion of their earnings, with 27 percent ruing that they are not saving anything at all, the report said.

Experts reportedly said the results of the study only show that there is a need for companies to adjust the compensation packages of their staff, if they want to retain their employees.

Elissavet Vraka at YouGov was quoted as saying by the news report that high cost of living in the UAE, coupled with the stagnant salaries, is encouraging employees to quit their jobs, and look for better opportunities elsewhere.

When asked if they’re earning more than their peers, 66 percent of UAE professionals said their salary is lower than what other companies in their industry offer.

Among those who received a salary increase last year, a quarter were either very or modestly happy with their raise. The majority (52 percent)  are “quite unhappy or very unhappy” with what they received, the report said.

Another 24 percent reportedly said their raise was fair “in light of their contribution to the company or the organization’s financial situation.”

Considering the financial situation they are in, it is not surprising to see a significant proportion (32 percent) of UAE workers expecting a pay raise of up to 15 percent this year, Gulf News reported.

Almost a quarter (24 percent), however, are being realistic, saying that they expect to take home the same paycheque in 2015, the report said.

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