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Macdonald & Company unveils 5th ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ at ‘Cityscape Global 2011’

Survey reveals current average base salary of real estate professionals in the region remains in line with last year’s average despite regional unrest and global uncertainty

September 27th 2011

Macdonald & Company, the leading property recruitment specialist, has unveiled the fifth ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ today (September 27th) at the opening of ‘Cityscape Global 2011’ at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). This year’s edition of the annual study shows that the average base salary of regional real estate professionals across all disciplines is AED 37,965 per month, compared to last year’s figure of AED 38,351 per month. The ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ has been identified as the most comprehensive annual survey undertaken for the real estate sector. The survey was completed in collaboration with The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Cityscape Connect.

According to the survey, 30 per cent of subjects received an increase in their base salaries this year, compared to only 25 per cent last year; while 5 per cent have experienced pay cuts compared to 11 per cent last year while 42 per cent saw no variance in their wages. The survey further shows that the average bonus was increased to AED 76,431 from AED 73,246 signifying a 4.4 per cent increase. Out of the total number of individuals that took part in the study, 40 per cent received a bonus in the last 12 months. 21 per cent of the respondents were made redundant, demonstrating a three percent decrease as compared to 2010. From the total number of individuals that were made redundant, 78 per cent have already found employment (an upward movement from last year’s 69 per cent). The study also identified that salary and responsibility, followed by job security and career progression are the most important factors in determining job satisfaction. 76 per cent of the respondents from the survey have stated that they were fairly or very satisfied with their current employment. Professionals are still very attracted to this region for financial, career and family reasons, particularly when compared to current available opportunities in the UK, Europe and the US. A majority of respondents agree that the wider political unrest will have long-term positive results for the Arab World.

“The current situation is challenging but we expect that the Gulf States will be resilient to global economic uncertainty and we will be looking for rebuild stories as the Arab Spring plays out,” said Ben Waddilove, Director, Macdonald and Company. “The ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ offers a comprehensive report on salary trends within the real estate industry in addition to important insights on the outlook of employees. We are confident that there will be a continuing demand for high caliber property professionals in the wider Middle East region particularly with strong asset management skills.”

A total of 1,439 real estate professionals from across the Middle East region took part in this year’s survey, with a higher percentage of respondents based in the UAE, Qatar and KSA. The latest survey reflects an increased response rate, perhaps showing continuing migration into the region, and a greater number of the overall respondents have now been here for more than five years. An almost equal amount of respondents are now from the UK and Europe as are from Asia and the Far East. Less people are now working in Dubai and more in Abu Dhabi (37 per cent are still working in Dubai, 28 per cent are now working in Abu Dhabi). Furthermore, Dubai has been deemed by the survey as the top location in terms of lifestyle, infrastructure and amenities.

“According to the survey findings, 40 per cent of the respondents still strongly believe that economic activity will increase over the next 12 months and only 12 per cent believe that activity will decrease. We remain committed to providing honest, consultative advice and we are proud to launch this year’s ‘Middle East Salary Survey’ to visitors here at ‘Cityscape Global 2011’,” concluded Waddilove.

Free copies of the executive summary and key findings of the survey are available at the Macdonald & Company stand (6E05, in Hall 6 in DICEC), while a free online version of the survey can also be downloaded from and and Regional clients, professionals and global visitors can acquire a more comprehensive online statistics package ideal for benchmarking, budgeting and planning purposes at a cost, details of which are available at the Macdonald & Company stand.

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