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Expat Life

Dubai Salary and Pay Scale

15 February 2022

Salaries vary widely in Dubai, depending on your qualifications and negotiation skills. Dubai has no minimum wage rates or standardized salaries, and salaries are usually similar to, or greater than those paid in western nations. Salaries also vary widely depending on nationalities, qualifications, experience, employee history and other random factors.

Salary packages are mostly dependent on your negotiation skills. For instance, an executive secretary may be paid more than a product sales representative within the same company, and even two secretaries working on same jobs can have different salary packages.

The UAE Federal Labour Law and the Emirate of Dubai does not have the provision for minimum wages, and your basic salary is what is a negotiated rate stipulated in your labour contract. The amount is important, as it is the basis of calculation for your end-of-service gratuity pay.

Range of salaries for various jobs

There are a range of jobs in Dubai that are much the same as in any city, but the range of incomes are larger than those otherwise familiar by expats for several reasons.

average dubai salary

Given below is the latest salary range for jobseekers in various sectors including banking, technology, sales, oil and gas, accounting, property, construction, office support and human resources.

Banking

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Group Chief Financial Officer 93,000 – 1,34,000
Director - Finance 52,000 – 72,000
Head of Internal Audit 52,000 – 67,000
Director – Treasury 52,000 – 67,000
Financial Controller 36,000 – 52,000
Head of Private Banking 140,000 – 175,000
Market Head / Managing Director (over 15yrs exp’) 124,000 – 144.000
Executive Director (over 10yrs exp.) 80,000 – 103,000
Relationship Manager (over 5yrs exp) 46000 – 62,000
Head of Wealth Management 77,000 – 110,000
Head of Department / Unit 72.000 – 82.000
Team Leader (various sectors) 67,000 – 77,000
Chief Compliance Officer 96,000 -118,000
Senior Manager / Banking Supervisor 47,000 – 54,000
Manager – Treasury 41,000 – 52,000
Manager - Finance 31,000 – 46,000
Chief Accountant 21,000 – 31,000
Finance / Business Analyst 15,000 – 26,000
Head of Corporate Banking 90,000 – 113,000
Relationship Manager 35,000 – 46,000
Chief Risk Officer 74,000 – 96,000
Head of Collections and Recovery 56,000 – 69,000

Legal

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Partner (over 5yrs) 124000 - 258000
Counsel 77000 - 103000
Senior Associate 52000 – 77000
Associate 41000 – 62000
Paralegal 18000 – 31000
Legal Secretary 15000 - 26000

Oil and Gas

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Contractor 32000 - 45000
Consultancy 32000 - 45000
operator 35000 – 56000
Oilfield Services 25000 - 41000
Construction / Installation Manager 35000 - 50000
Drilling Manager 35000 – 55000
Cost Manager 30000 - 42000
Health and Safety Manager 25000 - 40000
Logistics Manager 20000 - 35000
Marine / Naval Manager 32000 – 45000
Petrochemicals Manager 35000 – 50000

Public Sector

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Undersecretary 128000 - 180000
Executive Director 92700 - 144000
Assistant Undersecretary 103000 - 129000
Chief HR Officer 82400 - 124000
Chief Communications Officer 67000 - 98000

Technology & Telecommunications

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Architect (Cyber Security) 41000 – 52000
IT Project Manager 36000 – 52000
Head of IT / Manager 36000 – 46000
AI / ML Engineer 31000 – 46000
IT Infrastructure Manager 36000 – 46000
Data Engineer 26000 - 41000
Chief Digital Officer 93000 – 124000
Chief IT Officer 93000 – 113000
Data Science – Head 62000 – 77000
IT Director 62000 – 72000
Data Scientist 41000 – 52000
Data Analyst 26000 – 41000
Network Manager 19000 – 23000
Director 85000 – 110000
Senior Manager 41000 – 48000
Manager 31000 – 36000
Business Analyst 11000 - 14000
IT Administrator 12,850 – 30,000
IT Support Manager 23,800 – 38,250

Senior Finance and Tax

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Internal Audit / Audit Manager (Head) 36000 – 46000 (SMEs) 52000 – 67000 (MNCs)
Chief Accountant 12000 – 19000 (SMEs) 21000 – 31000 (MNCs)
Business / Finance Analyst 10000 – 15000 (SMEs) 15000 – 26000 (MNCs)
Internal Auditor 12000 – 19000 (SMEs) 15000 – 26000 (MNCs)

Sales and Marketing

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
General Manager 57000 – 72000
Country Manager 41000 - 52000
Regional Manager 31000 - 41000
Area Manager 21000 – 31000
Sales Manager 21000 - 31000
Sales Executive 8000 – 15000
Business Development Manager 21000 - 27000
Sales Representative 15000 - 21000

Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
General Manager 60,000 – 93,000
Operations Manager 20,000 – 36,000
Logistics Manager 15,000 – 26,000
Head of R&D 34,000 – 46,000
Factory/plant Manufacturing Manager 28,000 – 41,000
Production Manager 28,000 – 36,000

Human Resources

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Chief HR Officer 103,000 – 134,000
HR Vice President 82,000 – 113,000
HR Manager 31,000 – 41,000
Recruitment Manager 19,000 – 26,000

Property and Construction

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
General Manager 65,000 – 100,000
Project Manager 35,000 – 52,000
Contract Manager 35,000 – 52,000
Surveyor 15,000 – 25,000
Civil Engineer 15,000 – 25,000
Architect 20,000 – 32,000

Office Administration

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Executive Assistant 19,000 – 31,000
Personal Assistant 13,500 – 20,000
Office Manager 20,000 – 31,200
General Administration 10,000 – 18,000
Receptionist 10,000 – 15,000

Digital

Designation Salary Range (Dh./month)
Head of Digital Marketing 40,000 – 60,000
Digital Marketing Manager 18,000 – 35,000
Social Media Manager 15.000 – 30,000

Future Job Market in UAE

The job market in the UAE will continue to recover this year, as businesses and hiring activities continue to return to pre-pandemic levels, as revealed by recruitment experts. Therefore, salaries too are expected to rise by an average of 3percent to 5 percent, based on the sector, and bonuses too will make a comeback this year. The most common increase will be a growth of 5 percent, said Sarah Dixon, MD of Hays Middle East.

Ever-since the onset of Covid19 pandemic in March 2020, the UAE invested several billion dirhams in its measures to boost economy and support businesses. In the non-oil private sector in UAE, business activity improved to its strongest level in about two and a half years in November, owing to Expo 2020 Dubai, growth in tourism and increased spending amidst economic recovery.

According to ‘Hays 2022 Salary Guide’, 73 percent of UAE employers are hoping to see a growth in salaries as their organisations are like to see in salaries by upto 5 percent this year.

Ms. Dixon noted that the business confidence and hiring activity has grown back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, as we enter into 2022.
A Mercer report in November 2021 said that employers in the UAE will go on a hiring spree in 2022, and a 3.6 percent rise in salaries are expected amidst the post-coronavirus economic recovery in the UAE.

Meanwhile, the latest ‘Cooper Fitch UAE Salary Guide 2022’ said that out of 600 companies polled in the country, 35 percent of businesses plan to increase salaries by upto 5 percent. It was recorded that 4 percent of companies will offer a raise of 6 to 9 percent for employees, while 5 percent will boost wages by more than 10 percent.

Cooper Fitch, in its Salary Guide also said that UAE firms are planning to offer bonus schemes this year.  Among the business leaders surveyed by Cooper Fitch for its salary guide, 74 percent of the companies are planning to offer bonus schemes this year. While 46 percent said they are planning to offer one to two months’ gross salary as bonus, 21 percent said they would pay employees three to five months’ gross salary. All sectors, except real estate and public sector have agreed to pay bonuses in 2022.

Some of the other most common benefits that UAE employers are offering jobseekers include flexible and remote working, educational allowance, airline tickets and family visas.

Among the resilient sectors this year are human resources, technology, healthcare and life sciences, says the ‘UAE Salary Guide and Hiring Insights 2022’ report.

Meanwhile, the Cooper Fitch report also adds that there is also a large activity base expected around technology and artificial intelligence and digital this year, and an overall recovery of UAE markets to pre-covid19 levels is expected.

Meanwhile, the Covid19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for a long-term change in the workplace. Several companies are now allowing employees to work from home full-time or for one to three days a week. Employees too are expecting some form of work-from-home options to be offered as part of a standard employment going ahead.

Conclusion

Earlier, remuneration packages in Dubai were split into various elements- basic salary, car allowance, housing allowance, medical cover, education for children and air tickets for home visits, mobile phone allowance, furnishing allowance and food allowance. Today, however, most employers just tend to pay cash packages to cover all these expenses, although in some cases, there are performances or other bonuses.

What it all boils down to, really, is your ability to negotiate not only a good wage but some desirable (if not necessary) perks along with that salary. To plan your life in Dubai based on your salary, you need to align your expectations with reality. Try to do some salary research online or offline or both. You could also check out listings of Dubai recruitment agencies, check Dubai jobsites, use Dubai salary calculators, cost of living report or read salary survey reports.

Now, this kind of salary research may be sufficient to give you a fair idea of what you are likely to be paid in Dubai, so that you can plan your job in Dubai more safely and accurately.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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