Based on survey findings from over 4,250 employers and employees across the region, Hays 2018 GCC Salary & Employment Report takes a detailed look at salary and hiring trends from 2017 and employee and employer expectations for 2018. Sectors and professions covered in the report include: Accountancy & Finance, Construction Property and Engineering, HR, IT, Legal, Marketing, Office Support, Sales, and Supply Chain*.

Key findings


  • 39% of working professionals’ salaries increased year-on-year in 2017, 52% remained the same and 9% decreased – exactly the same as in 2016
  • Of those that increased, the most significant reason for the third year in a row was due to starting ‘a new job with a new company’
  • 61% of employees expect their salary to change in 2018
  • 68% of employers expect salaries within their organisation to increase in the next 12 months

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  • 29% of employees started a new job with a new company in 2017, similar to the 27% who did so in 2016
  • 40% of organisations increased the size of their workforce year-on-year in 2017, 25% retained the same levels and 35% reduced their company headcount
  • 51% of working professionals expect to start a new job with a new company in 2018, the main reason being to increase their salary
  • 71% of employers plan to recruit additional staff in the next 12 months

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Market outlook

  • 64% of employees feel positive about their career prospects for 2018
  • 66% of organisations forecast market activity to increase year-on-year for their business
  • 50% of employers expect employee engagement and staff retention to be the most significant HR challenges for them over the next 12 months

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Press coverage


Past editions


Thank you

Hays would like to express our gratitude to all those individuals who participated in our online survey and provided such invaluable feedback, which we feel has contributed to making this the most accurate and up to date Salary and Employment report of its kind in the GCC. 



*Please note: Oil & Gas technical roles are not included in this report. For more information about the Oil & Gas employment market, visit: haysplc.com/global-recruitment/oil-and-gas.


The Hays GCC Salary & Employment Report is representative of a value added service to our clients, prospective clients and candidates. Whilst every care is taken in the collection and compilation of data, the survey is interpretive and indicative, not conclusive. Therefore information should be used as a guideline only and should not be reproduced in total or by section without written prior permission from Hays. For more information about the report, please do not hesitate to contact us: marketing.uae@hays.com.