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Confusion over UAE incomes

Confusion over UAE incomes

The UAE Ministry of Economy’s survey says one thing, but the Dubai Statistics Center seems to be suggesting another about salaries. We’re confused.

February 3, 2009 2:42 by

The average income of UAE residents is AED18,248.60, revealed a survey organized by the UAE Ministry of Economy. According to the survey, the average monthly expenditure in Dubai households is AED11,241.20, reports Arabian Business.

The survey also showed the discrepancies in the average monthly income of UAE national and expatriate residents: according to the survey, the average monthly income for local households is AED36,439.10, whereas the average household income for expatriates is AED15,074.30.

“The results will help us to further enhance the lifestyle standards of residents in the country through judicious planning, especially in preparing consumer price indices and inflation rates in line with international standards,” Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE’s Minister of Economy said. He also said that the report will help the government develop socio-economic policies in order to meet the statistical requirements of international organizations.

However, the government’s sample size is unclear, which, in this nation makes all the difference.

Take Dubai Statistics Center’s Household Expenditure and Income Survey. Its sample size was 4,031 households or families, which, according to the government, makes up 2 percent of the emirate’s total household: 1,208 were national households; 2,159 expatriate households; 664 collective households.

The sample size also included labor camps: 246 camps out of a total of 1,177 were surveyed, according to a report in Arabian Business.

The survey revealed the wage gap between nationalities in Dubai, with the laborers (presumably from the subcontinent) earning an annual salary of AED21,000 annually, and Europeans an average of AED382,000.

According to the study, Emirati individuals earn an average of AED324,000, followed by Arab-expatriates with AED198,000 and Asians AED141,000.

With such discrepancies in wages, how can the UAE Ministry of Economy calculate an average wage without specifying their sample to the public? In other words, how can the UAE government claim that the average wage is AED18,248.60 when, according to the Dubai Statistics Authority, the average annual salary of the 476,733 laborers living in camps throughout Dubai is AED21,000?

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  1. SR on February 4, 2009 8:28 am

    Totally agree. This portrays a very wrong picture of the wage/salary situation to people outside. Like everything else here, this is another PR gimmick to paint a picture which is not true. Unfortunately, its your nationality that decides how much you get paid and not the quality of the work you do!! – SR

  2. Lianne on February 4, 2009 11:41 am

    yup, another PR gimmick. it seems these guys are playing with numbers to project the image they want to show.
    either that, or they need to brush up on the concepts of “weighted average” instead of “skew data.”
    sometime ago, i remember reading about a government official stating that there is “no discrimination” in this country.
    apparently, these people attended the same school of thought.

  3. Raj on February 4, 2009 4:09 pm

    Is it the average income of residents of Jumeirah and Dubai Marina? . As per the UAE government’s statistics at the beginning of 2008, states there are 600,000 labourers in Dubai of a population of 1.5 million and they earn less than half the AED18,248.60 mentioned. Did we leap big in one year’s time ?????

  4. Dubai Rocks on February 5, 2009 2:05 pm

    I am working in a Dubai Government company where total employees are 3,500. Out of that 2,500 are earning average AED 4,500 per month (approx. figure). Somebody should point out to the government that there was a print mistake of “1” in the figure of 18,248.60 !

  5. Umar on February 10, 2009 9:04 am

    A more meaningful statistic would have been to know the income distribution of the population. Only then we would have the true picture of how people are living/surviving in UAE. Among the expats population we will notice that a large group of households are even below AED 10K per month. Now a days, anybody earning less than AED 15K can forget about settling his familly here.


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