UAE salaries: Employers to offer up to 10% pay rise in 2022

Around 37 per cent of local firms said they don’t plan to revise the salaries of the employees next year


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 12 Dec 2021, 9:29 AM

Salaries in 2022 will increase by three per cent on average in the UAE as the economy will continue its recovery next year, thanks to the positive impact of Expo 2020 and Fifa World Cup of multiple sectors, according to a survey released by recruitment and HR advisory firm Cooper Fitch on Sunday.

The survey revealed that 41 per cent of firms increased salaries in 2021 with advisory, HR, manufacturing, technology, strategy and public sectors amongst those who made an increase of up to 10 per cent.

For 2022, 43 per cent of businesses in the UAE will be increasing salaries, with 35 per cent of those increasing by 0-5 per cent; four per cent will mark increases of 6-9 per cent; and five per cent said they will increase salaries of 10 per cent or more.

Around 37 per cent of local firms said they don’t plan to revise the salaries of the employees next year. Surprisingly, 19 per cent said they will be decreasing salaries by up to 10 per cent in 2022.

“The UAE is resilient and we have witnessed the market bounce back considerably this year after the challenges we faced in 2020. We see 2022 as a year of continued growth. The Expo will continue into the first quarter of 2022 and the kick-off of the Fifa World Cup in Qatar is more than likely going to contribute to significant growth across multiple markets due to Dubai being a major tourism transit and business hub,” said Trefor Murphy, founder and CEO of Cooper Fitch.


The survey revealed that 63 per cent of UAE firms said they did payout bonuses within their organisation in 2021, a significant increase from 44 per cent in 2020.

Companies were also asked if they were planning on paying out bonus schemes for 2022, and a staggering 74 per cent of the respondents said they were going to pay out bonuses, with 46 per cent of those paying 1-2 months’ gross salary and 21 per cent paying 3-5 months’ gross salary.

Around 26 per cent said they weren't going to pay out bonuses next year. “2022 looks to be a return to near full bonus payout with exceptions for struggling organisations.”



Murphy said despite the challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 has been a year of recovery and growth in the UAE, which has been reflected in the jobs market.

According to the Cooper Fitch survey, 30 per cent of organisations made reductions to their headcount in 2021. Over half - 52 per cent - of them made no changes to their headcount this year and 18 per cent made increases.

For 2022, 23 per cent of organisations will be reducing their headcount, whereas 59 per cent will be increasing their headcount by up to 10 per cent or more.

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