UAE salary guide 2022: how much should you be earning in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? (2023)

The jobs market in the UAE is continuing to recover in 2022 as business confidence and hiring activity return to pre-coronavirus levels, according to recruitment experts as we hit the mid-year mark.

At the beginning of the year, salaries were also expected to rise by an average of 3 per cent to 5 per cent depending on the sector (see slide show above), while bonuses have been predicted to make a comeback this year.

“Salaries certainly have increased year on year and are set to continue on this trajectory for 2022, with a proportionally higher number of salary rises likely to take place this year than in the past three years,” Sarah Dixon, managing director of Hays Middle East told The National in January.

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“The most common increase is likely to be an uplift of up to 5 per cent.”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the UAE has spent billions of dirhams in economic stimulus measures to support businesses.

Business activity in the UAE’s non-oil private sector improved to its strongest level in about two and a half years in November 2021, activity which was boosted by Expo 2020 Dubai, a rise in tourism and increased spending amid the post-pandemic economic recovery.

The UAE's IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 55.9 in November, from 55.7 in October, the highest reading since June 2019. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion while anything below points to a contraction.

Employment levels also remained steady during the survey period and “further rises in demand and backlogs could support an increase in employment sooner rather than later”, IHS Markit economist David Owen said at the time.

With hiring on the increase, what is the salary and employment outlook for jobseekers this year? Read on to find out.

How much can Emiratis earn in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Pay levels expected to increase across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other emirates

According to the Hays 2022 Salary Guide, which was released at the end of January, roughly 73 per cent of UAE employers expected their salaries in their organisations to increase by up to 5 per cent this year, compared with 37 per cent in 2021.

The trend in previous years has shown that most company-wide pay increases represent a rise of less than 5 per cent but this is unlikely to be sufficient to retain candidates who are looking for a job change for the rest of 2022 based on salary, Ms Dixon says.

However, the "sentiment is very positive in the UAE and surrounding Gulf region", she notes.

“We have seen business confidence and hiring activity increase back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, with much optimism as we go into 2022.”

In November, a report by Mercer found that employers in the UAE were predicted to go on a hiring spree in 2022 and raise salaries by an average 3.6 per cent as demand for jobs picks up amid the UAE's post-coronavirus economic recovery.

“Signs of growth abound and are evident in the increased hiring activity that we have seen in 2021 and the positive forecast for 2022,” Andrew El Zein, a career department associate for the Mena region at Mercer, said at the time.

“Employers are prioritising hires for in-demand skill sets that will support future business growth. However, the talent pool is still developing, causing somewhat of a talent war.”

Meanwhile, the Cooper Fitch UAE Salary Guide 2022, which was published in December 2021 and polled more than 600 companies in the country, found that 35 per cent of businesses plan to increase salaries by up to 5 per cent this year.

It also found that 4 per cent of companies would offer employees a raise of between 6 per cent to 9 per cent, while 5 per cent will boost wages by 10 per cent or more.

Will bonuses return in 2022?

Of the business leaders surveyed by Cooper Fitch for its salary guide, 74 per cent of companies in the UAE planned to offer bonus schemes in 2022, with 46 per cent saying they would pay one to two months’ gross salary and 21 per cent saying they would reward employees with three to five months' gross salary.

However, not all sectors will be offering bonuses to employees this year, Trefor Murphy, chief executive of Cooper Fitch, says.

“For bonus payouts, all sectors except real estate and the public sector said they will be paying bonuses in 2022.”

UAE salary guide 2022: how much should you be earning in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? (16)

What benefits will jobseekers be offered in 2022?

Companies must offer a competitive benefits package to attract the best talent, according to the Robert Half 2022 salary guide.

“Candidates expectations have changed since the pandemic and they are expecting more beyond salaries and bonuses,” the report says.

“Employers are adjusting benefits and perks to attract and retain the new ‘anywhere’ workforce. Efforts to bolster workplace culture and avoid digital burnout [will] see companies introduce mental health hotlines and remote working initiatives.”

Read more on our salary guide series

How much can Emiratis earn in the UAE?

How much should you be earning in Saudi Arabia

How much should you be earning in the USA?

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

However, since the outbreak of Covid-19, job candidates are increasingly requesting to work from home at least two days a week, as well as asking for flexible hours and training opportunities, the Robert Half report says.

“Businesses are adding to their benefits to retain and attract staff,” Gareth El Mettouri, Robert Half’s associate director of the Middle East, says in the salary report.

“Many local businesses are keen to get back to the office, but with candidates demanding flexible working, they may lose out on the best talent to multinationals.”

For bonus payouts, all sectors except real estate and the public sector said they will be paying bonuses in 2022

Trefor Murphy, chief executive of Cooper Fitch

However, child education allowances are a significant “pull factor” for professionals in the UAE when considering a new role, Ms Dixon of Hays Middle East says.

“With so many expats uprooting family and relocating to the region from home countries for jobs, child education fees represents a significant proportion of their incomes and candidates will favour an employer that offers to cover these,” she says.

“This is a challenge to organisations as school fees are relatively expensive in the UAE and from our experiences, child education allowances are generally only offered to senior-level candidates. They also vary by way in which they are offered – some employers provide an annual lump sum, while others cover up to two children, or are capped at a certain level of spend.”

What will be the most resilient sectors in 2022?

The most resilient sectors this year will include technology, human resources, health care and life sciences, while there will be accelerated demand for skilled workers in digital and data, and project management, recruitment specialist Michael Page says in its UAE Salary Guide & Hiring Insights 2022 report.

Meanwhile, there is still strong demand for talent in some of the “usual suspect sectors” such as consulting, advisory and recruitment, Mr Murphy of Cooper Fitch says.

“There is also a large base of activity around digital, technology and artificial intelligence, with an overall recovery in all UAE markets recovering to pre-Covid-19 levels,” he says.

“In terms of headcount and salaries in the UAE for 2022 based on our data, the sectors most likely to increase these are advisory, real estate, sales and marketing, technology and strategy.”

Challenges companies face when hiring in 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for long-term change in the workplace, with many companies now allowing employees to either work from home full-time or for one to three days a week.

However, maintaining employee motivation and engagement, and integrating new hires remotely are the main challenges employers are facing in 2022.

Many companies have also had to invest significant amounts of their budgets into technology to enable remote working, Ms Dixon says.

“With competition among employers high, attraction and retention of top talent is a big challenge for organisations,” she says.

“Salary remains the main motivator for changing jobs while career development is the number one reason why employees will stay with an employer.

“On top of these, we have seen professionals’ views on remote working change since the pandemic, with the majority expecting some form of working-from-home options to be offered as part of a standard employment contract going forward.”

What are the highest paid jobs in the UAE?

  • Banking: head of consumer banking – Dh92,000-Dh98,000
  • Legal: partner (5+ years) – Dh103,000-Dh227,000
  • Oil and gas: operations manager – Dh40,000-Dh50,000
  • Public sector: undersecretary – Dh128,800-Dh180,000
  • Strategy: chief strategy officer – Dh90,000-Dh129,000
  • Senior finance and tax: group chief financial officer – Dh93,000-Dh134,000
  • Sales and marketing: general manager – Dh57,000-Dh72,000 (FMCG); head of corporate communications – Dh53,000-Dh67,000
  • Manufacturing: managing director – Dh97,000-Dh134,000
  • Supply chain: chief supply chain officer – Dh85,000-Dh165,000
  • Investment management: chief investment officer – Dh82,000-Dh155,000+
  • Technology: chief information officer – Dh70,000-Dh130,000
  • HR and office support: chief shared services officer – Dh103,000-Dh144,000
  • Accounting and finance: group/regional – CFO Dh100,000-Dh200,000
  • Property and construction: chief development officer – Dh124,000-Dh247,000; executive director of sales Dh77,000-Dh113,000
  • Secretary and office support: personal assistant – Dh20,000-27,000

Updated: May 16, 2023, 11:10 AM

FAQs

How much salary is good in Dubai 2022? ›

Dubai has a good average salary range, extending from a monthly salary of 4,810 AED (1,310 USD) to 99,000 AED (26,956 USD) per month.

What is a good salary in UAE 2022? ›

salary ranges between Dh60,000 up to Dh400,000 a month. While analysts and managers earn between Dh15,000 to Dh60,000. Senior HR manager and admin coordinators salary ranges between Dh8,000 to Dh50,000. While CHRO monthly salary goes as high as Dh160,000 in multinationals and large corporates.

How much salary is enough in Abu Dhabi? ›

The average cost of living for family of four is about about 12,000 AED per month (3,000 USD). Without rent, this includes items such as groceries, transport, leisure activity, and eating out at restaurants. A single person can expect to pay about 3,000 AED (800 USD).

How much salary is sufficient in Dubai? ›

To live comfortably in Dubai, you should expect a salary of at least 10,000 to 15,000 AED. This should allow you to cover your rent and bills and have enough disposable income to enjoy Dubai to the fullest.

Is 4000 AED a good salary in Dubai 2022? ›

Let's begin. If you don't want to read the whole blog, here is the bottom line; a salary of AED 10,000 - 15,000 (USD 2,700 - 4,000) a month is considered pretty decent with the potential to save a good amount, while a salary of AED 15,000 - 20,000 (USD 4,000 - 5,400) per month and more is considered very attractive.

Is 2500 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

Though job opportunities in UAE often guarantee decent accommodation, being alert about your spending in a limited salary will be fruitful. Be on the lookout for renting spaces, such as bed spaces, that costs you between 700 AED to 900 AED. In this way, you can easily live on an AED 2500 salary in the UAE.

What is considered high salary in UAE? ›

In the private sector finance and accounting industry, the highest salaries start from AED70,000 to AED150,000 per month in Abu Dhabi, whereas in Dubai, the highest salaries begin from AED65,000 to AED130,000 per month. Read More on the Topic: UAE announces new 2023 Emiratisation deadlines.

How much do you need to live comfortably in Dubai? ›

Summary of cost of living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,758.5$ (13,804.9AED) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,076.2$ (3,952.7AED) without rent.

Is 30000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

30K is a quite handsome amount and there are no TAX at all in UAE (like in UK or in India). Here the average salary is 5K to 20K.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Abu Dhabi? ›

Living Expenses in the UAE

The average cost of living for family of four is about about 12,000 AED per month (3,000 USD). Without rent, this includes items such as groceries, transport, leisure activity, and eating out at restaurants. A single person can expect to pay about 3,000 AED (800 USD).

What are the salaries in Abu Dhabi for expats? ›

Expats in the UAE earn nearly AED570,000 ($155,180) on average, the sixth highest in the world, according to the latest edition of HSBC's Expat Explorer study.

Is 20 000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

20,000 AED per month salary would probably be OK for basic salary, but accommodation is the main problem. You want to live in a villa? If you are lucky enough to find one it is likely to cost you at least 300,000 AED per year.

Is 9000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

9000 AED is 80 USD per day. A poor wage for Dubai, although it is much better than the wages of the camp workers. You could not live alone for that money.

Is 25 000 AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

Yes, a monthly salary of AED 25,000 (all-inclusive) can be considered a good salary to sustain a family of three in Dubai.

Is 6000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

In general, 6000 AED per month can be considered a decent salary in Abu Dhabi, especially for single individuals or those living with a partner. However, it may be a bit challenging to lead a comfortable life if you have dependents or prefer a more luxurious lifestyle.

Is 60000 AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

Yes, it is pretty good.

Is 80k AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

AED 80,000 per month would probably put you in the top 5 percentile of the population of UAE. which means, with that kind of income, you can expect all luxuries, comforts and fun in Dubai.

Is 55 000 AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

55K AED per month is certainly not a small amount of money. However, depending on the cost of living in Dubai and the family's current lifestyle in the US, it may not be sufficient for maintaining the same standard of living.

Can I live in Dubai with 4000 salary? ›

Male expatriates must have a minimum salary of AED 4,000 per month or AED 3,000 per month plus accommodation. Female expatriates must have a minimum monthly salary of AED 10,000 or AED 8,000 plus accommodation.

Is 35000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

A salary of 35,000 AED can be considered a decent salary for a family of three in Dubai, depending on various factors such as your lifestyle, accommodation costs, and other expenses.

Is 3000 AED enough to live in Dubai? ›

For a single person living in Dubai, we can expect a cost between 3000 and 5000 AED per month.

Is 70000 a good salary in UAE? ›

Well 70,000 AED is a very good salary, infact only top position managers and ceo draws such salary. With 70,000 aed you can live a luxurious life along with your family in Dubai.

Is 10000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

Yes, It is more than enough to live for a single person. As you are aware Abudhabi is fantastic place to live, so many foriegners coming here every day to visit and enjoy this place, If you want to spend the entire 10,000 AED in two days that also very possible.

Is 6000 AED enough in Dubai? ›

Your valuable inputs are required take my foot ahead. But if it includes accomodation allowance and transportation allowance then u should think about it twice. 6000 + accomodation + transport = GREAT !

Is it cheaper to live in Dubai than USA? ›

Average Cost Of Living In Dubai Vs USA For A Single Person

However, in general, the cost of living in Dubai is lower than in major cities of the USA for a single person. The average cost for a single-bedroom apartment in the city center of Dubai is around $1500-2000 a month.

What is the average house rent in Dubai? ›

Average Housing Rent

In Dubai, the minimum house rent is 193,180 AED (52,590 USD) for a home with three bedrooms and 298,640 AED (81,300 USD) for a home with five bedrooms. In Abu Dhabi it is 168,180 AED (45,785 USD) for a three-bedroom home and 305,910 AED (83,280 USD) for five bedrooms.

How much is rent in Dubai per month? ›

Housing, Rental & Utilities
Type of ApartmentCost of rent per month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City CentreAED 5,141.89 (USD 1 399.92)
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of CentreAED 3,281.72 (USD 893.47)
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City CentreAED 9,766.53 (USD 2 659.01)
1 more row

Is 40000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

Yes 40K is a decent salary per month. That's more than 11k US $. It is close to 140k per year.

Is 100000 a good salary in UAE? ›

100,000 AED is good above average salary for an expatriate.

Can I buy a house in Abu Dhabi? ›

There are nine areas in Abu Dhabi, where foreigners are allowed to own real estate properties. They are: Yas Island, Saadiyat, Reem, Mariya, Lulu, Al Raha Beach, Sayh Al Sedairah, Al Reef and Masdar City. Learn more about regulations for expatriates owning properties in Abu Dhabi.

Is it cheaper to live in Abu Dhabi or Dubai? ›

Dubai is much bigger and has more entertainment options, nightlife, family activities, luxury hotels, and plenty of budget options. In contrast, Abu Dhabi is slightly more expensive. Despite being more expensive, Abu Dhabi is a more peaceful location. And Abu Dhabi has better beaches than Dubai.

Can US citizens live in Abu Dhabi? ›

You will not need to apply in advance for a visa to enter the country if you are staying for less than one month — visas are available upon arrival at the airport in the emirate. However, to live in the UAE, you will require a work visa. Your employer will apply for the visa for you and sponsor you to live in the city.

What is the average monthly cost of living in the UAE? ›

The overall cost with rent included is higher in Dubai: a single person needs a minimum of AED 7,300 or $2,000, and a family of 4 would pay about AED 13,000 or $3,540. The average cost of rent and utilities in the UAE is AED 9,600 or $2,600 a month.

Are salaries in Abu Dhabi tax free? ›

There is currently no personal income tax in the United Arab Emirates. As such, there are no individual tax registration or reporting obligations.

What is the average net worth of an Abu Dhabi citizen? ›

Abu Dhabi sits on 10 percent of the world's oil reserves. Its 420,000 citizens each have an average net worth of $17 million. City leaders have ambitious plans to build a city to rival their neighbor, but with a focus on Arab culture, in the hope Abu Dhabi will attract as many Arab tourists as Europeans.

Which company pays the most in Dubai for expats? ›

Dubai Salaries - By Employer
EmployerSample SalarySalary Comparison
Gulf Capital$313,000313000.0
Givaudan$274,000274000.0
UBS$240,000240000.0
AGFA$224,000224000.0
2 more rows

What is the average salary to live in Abu Dhabi? ›

It is a good salary, even if you have to pay your accommodation. General monthly ESSENTIAL expenses will be about 10000-15000 AED/month. Medical insurance of some form is usually provided by the employer for the entire family. If accommodation is provided, it is a very good salary to start with.

How much tax is deducted from salary in Dubai? ›

UAE Corporate Tax (CT) regime provides for 9% corporate tax on taxable income exceeding AED 375,000 from the financial year starting on or after 01 June 2023. A Resident Person, which is a juridical person, is subject to Corporate Tax on its Taxable Income derived in UAE or from outside UAE, as would be specified.

Is 15000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

Overall, 15,000 AED per month is a liveable salary for a single person in Dubai. With this salary, you can't expect to have a lot of disposable income, but making smart choices on your spending will make your living comfortable.

Is 1000 AED enough in Dubai? ›

Until there's a clearer picture, it's tough to be accurate, however based on the criteria provided and assuming worst case (ie you need the funds to provide for the situations above), I don't think 200 dirhams a day will cover you. 1000 AED over 10 days that is 100 dirhims per day.

Is 8000 AED enough to live in Dubai? ›

Can I live happily in Dubai with 8500 AED? Yes. 8500 dirhams is pretty much a decent amount for you to stay happily. It might not provide you with the extremely high lifestyle, but it is sufficient enough for you to keep you happy.

Is 2000 AED enough in Dubai? ›

You will struggle to spend on food for 7 days, do all the attractions you mentioned with reputable merchants, transportation, and buy gifts with 2000 dirhams!

Is 30k dirham a good salary in Dubai? ›

Well 30k AED is considered as rare and the best salary in the UAE as you can have a good lifestyle even with your family including two kids and save a good part of your salary.

Is 45000 AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

Yes, it's more than good. This would put you probably in the top 5% of earners in Dubai. If you do get a 45k job, don't get excited and go live in a villa in Emirates Hills, or rent an apartment in Princess Tower or in the Burj Khalifa district.

Is 7000 AED enough to live in Dubai? ›

You ask: "Is 7000 AED monthly salary good enough in Dubai without accommodation for single person?" The answer is "No", no it is not, even if your accommodation is paid for. Single people spend more than their marred counterparts in Dubai, especially if they live a social and active life,.

Is 100000 AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

100,000 AED is good above average salary for an expatriate.

Is 17 000 AED a good salary in Dubai? ›

AED 17,000 is a decent amount to live a comfortable life in Dubai and save too. But remember, your savings totally depends on the life style you select.

Is 50000 dirhams a good salary in Dubai? ›

Yes it is a very good salary.

Is 30000 AED a good salary in Dubai 2022? ›

30K is a quite handsome amount and there are no TAX at all in UAE (like in UK or in India). Here the average salary is 5K to 20K.

Is 18000 AED a good salary in Dubai 2022? ›

The answer is: NOT RICH.

Is 20,000 AED a good salary in Dubai 2022? ›

Dubai has the highest average salary in all of the United Arab Emirates. Currently, the average salary in Dubai is about 20,000 AED per month. Here's a list of different careers and the average salaries to expect when working in Dubai.

Is Dubai a good place to work 2022? ›

Expats feel welcome in Dubai, enjoy improved career prospects, and don't have to fight a lot of red tape. It's not all good news, though. Dubai ranks 2nd out of 50 in the Expat City Ranking 2022, even coming first worldwide in the Expat Essentials Index.

How much money is enough to live in Dubai per month? ›

A family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,747.8$ (13,765.7AED) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,072.7$ (3,940.0AED) without rent. Dubai is 34.6% less expensive than New York (without rent). Rent in Dubai is, on average, 52.4% lower than in New York.

Is 5000 AED a good salary in Abu Dhabi? ›

I would say that, 5000 AED is a pretty good start for a new comer to Dubai. As there is transport and accommodation the only expenses would be food and a little bit of lavish living..

What is a good annual salary in Dubai? ›

The average salary in Dubai is AED 21,500 per month, which is equivalent to USD $5,853. The salary of a worker in Dubai is therefore on average higher than in Western countries.

Is it worth moving to Dubai for work? ›

Dubai offers tax-free living for everyone. Whether you are employed in any organisation or running your own business in this city, you will not pay any taxes on your income. The tax-free salaries in Dubai make it one of the best places to build one's future.

Can Americans work in Dubai? ›

Visa. If you're a U.S. citizen moving to Dubai, you will need a residence visa and work permit beyond your initial 30-day entry permit. You will not need to apply in advance for a visa to enter the country if you are staying for less than one month — visas are available upon arrival at the airport in the emirate.

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