Let’s talk money
A salary survey of the Middle East shows that the UAE has the highest percentage of big earners. There’s more.
February 18, 2009 3:08 by Dana El Baltaji
An annual survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov titled Middle East Salary Survey shows that Gulf nations have the highest percentage of well-paid professionals, and a majority of residents in the Middle East have been hit hard by the financial crisis.
The UAE proved to have the highest percent of big earners, with 7 percent of respondents earning $10,000 and above, and 20 percent earning between $5,000 and $10,000. Bahrain and Qatar followed closely with 22 percent and 19 percent respectively earning between $5,000 and $10,000 each month, and 7 percent each earning more than $10,000 every month
The lowest paid respondents were in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco. Fifty-four percent in Algeria earn under $500 per month, and 4 percent earn between $5,000 and $10,000 per month. In both Egypt and Morocco, 47 percent of residents receive under $500 per month, with 2 percent in each country earning $5,000-$10,000 per month, and 1 percent in each country earning over $10,000 per month.
The survey also gauged what percentage of their salary respondents save each month. According to the results, a quarter of residents in the Middle East are unable to save any of their salary, and a majority saved between 1 and 5 percent. The biggest savers are in Bahrain and Oman, where 83 percent of respondents are able to save at least some of their salary. In the UAE, only 22 percent of residents are able to save between 1 to 5 percent of their monthly salaries.
“These figures reveal that even though some people receive much higher salaries in some countries than others, it doesn’t correlate that these high earners save more money, which might have been expected. This could be explained by the disparity between cost of living and salary increases, or by the fact that the high earners seek a lifestyle that matches their high salary,” said Nassim Ghrayeb, CEO, YouGov.
The Middle East Salary Survey, which covered the whole of the Middle East, also showed that 77 percent of residents across the region feel that they have been affected negatively by the economic crisis. In Egypt, 81 percent of respondents said they have hit hard; conversely, respondents in Oman showed the lowest impact, with only 37 percent stating that they have been affected by the global financial meltdown.
Egypt and the UAE were the most pessimistic countries surveyed with 30 percent and 29 percent feeling negative about the future, while Oman and Bahrain’s respondents were the most optimistic, with 23 percent and 22 percent of respondents claiming that they are optimistic about the future.
Interestingly, only 24 percent of respondents in the UAE said they have not suffered the effects of the economic crisis.