Revealed: Salary hike predictions in the UAE for 2018

Cooper Fitch released their salary predictions report for the year and we compiled key figures

08:00 February 28, 2018
UAE Dirhams

Appraisals and resultant salary hikes are always on employees’ minds. Here in the UAE where residents always try to budget their monthly income or invest as much as possible, a hike could never hurt.

Here’s what researchers at Cooper Fitch have to say about salary and hiring trends in the UAE for 2018. 

In terms of new job openings, the introduction of VAT on January 1 is predicted to be the largest reason for job creation – as many as 9000 jobs are expected to open up in the country because of VAT.

Accounting and Finance

If you’re in the finance industry, the demand for formally qualified accountants (CPA, CA, ACCA, ACA) is still going strong and is expected to continue this trend this year.

There are no salary hike hopes for junior to mid-level professionals according to Cooper Fitch. In fact, downward pressure can be expected in this category. However, there may be possible raises for senior and executive level positions.

Advisory, strategy and consulting

Hiring is expected to be robust, with competitive packages being offered for good talent. There might be a stronger focus on IFRI expertise across financial and non-financial services. Associates can expect to earn from Dh7,000 to Dh12,000 across various fields in consulting such as risk, audits or M&A (mergers, acquisitions and deals).

The strategy industry as a whole is expected to see growth and analysts in the UAE can expect to earn Dh17,000 onwards.


Tax and all kinds of tax are on the agenda not just for the UAE, but across the GCC. Therefore, demand for talent is high, and in particular for bi-lingual talent. Arabic-speaking tax professionals can expect to get more openings and leads this year.

In 2018, expect a higher demand for indirect tax professionals as well as international and local corporate tax law professionals. Tax associates or senior associates can expect to get from Dh10,000, which could increase based on company and experience.

Banking and financial services

In this sector, there is a prevalent lack of abundant roles, thereby driving competition up. The report found that there is a declining trend of international professionals seeking jobs in the sector, and a rising demand for domestic talent. Back office credit roles and collections are expected to continue their hiring trend from last year.

2018 may see more Emiratis occupying senior-level and management roles. Relationship Managers in retail and corporate banking can expect upwards of Dh16,000, while financial accountants can expect Dh10000 and higher.


The report shows a 10 per cent hike in hiring for digital marketing and other digital roles such as design, social media etc.

An account executive or analyst could ear upwards of Dh10,000, while copywriters and graphic designers could demand upwards of Dh12,000. Account directors, creative directors and similar senior-level roles could earn Dh23,000 and above.

Human Resources

The report posts a positive picture for HR professionals and salaries are expected to increase by around 2 to 3 per cent. HR Generalist roles could earn from Dh13,000 while managers could earn upward of Dh18,000.

Sales and Marketing

While there weren’t much change year on year in salaries for this sector over the past year, Cooper Fitch predicts a rise in 5 to 7 per cent in salaries this year. Many companies are expected to increase their headcounts to drive business up. Sales managers, brand managers and PR account managers could earn upward of Dh15,000.

Sales assistants are shown with salary ranges from Dh5,000 to Dh8,000, while store managers could demand anything between Dh12,000 to Dh15,000.