A fifth of UAE expats doubled their salary when they relocated

(10/11/2018 8:31:00 AM)

A fifth of UAE expatriates say their salaries doubled when they relocated to the UAE, with more than half relocating to the Emirates to increase their income, a study from HSBC found.

Twenty per cent of those polled by HSBC for its Expat Explorer 2018 study said their yearly wage doubled in comparison to their earnings before their move to the UAE, with the average annual expat salary of $155,039, the sixth highest globally. The study surveyed 22,318 expats from across the globe, including almost 900 in the UAE.

According to HSBC, the UAE is now the fourth best country for economic prospects for expats – up one place from last year – with 67 per cent of those polled having “more disposable income thanks to higher earnings and the tax-free environment”.

“We are seeing an interesting dichotomy among UAE expats,” said Marwan Hadi, head of retail banking and wealth Management, HSBC UAE. “Eighty-five per cent say they are able to build up their savings and pay off debt, yet 93 per cent are not fully aware of or have explored their financial options. It’s clear many are missing the opportunity to make their wealth work for them.”

The National reported last week that salaries among Dubai's workforce have dropped on average as recruiters drive a harder bargain and the job market undergoes a natural correction.

Dubai’s income level, as measured by GDP per capita, stood at $45,000 in 2013, before falling to $37,000 in 2018. It is expected to fall again to $36,000 in 2020, according to a new analysis by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s. Experts said the development marks a maturing of the market, however, HSBC’s study indicates that salary offers in the UAE are still favourable to overseas applicants.

While Switzerland topped HSBC’s list of global destinations with the biggest pay packets, with an average expat salary of $202,865, the US took second place at $185,119 and Hong Kong came third at $178,706. The UAE took sixth position on the ranking.

The National