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November 30, 2015

Middle East: Salaries Remain Stable for Event Professionals

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espinternational has released the initial findings of its annual salary survey for the Middle East, which received a 40 percent increase in the number of respondents compared to last year. 

"With so many new respondents, the figures gave us more to work with, greater comparisons to draw and more differences to consider in some cases from our impassioned industry colleagues," commented Rebecca Wilson, MD, espinternational. 

The data shows that the average salary across all sectors of the industry has remained stable, as the work dynamic shifts in favour of employers who are enjoying an expanding pool of candidates from both overseas and the local markets. As a result, salaries are in some sectors experiencing a drop as people battle it out for the best jobs. 

"This is being influenced further by overseas candidates who are used to paying significant amounts of tax being able to enter the market in this region at a lower salary level, which gives them a competitive advantage," said Wilson. "That said, there is still a dearth of good talent locally for many roles, which can lead to an increase in average salary in some areas of the business."

A still shocking volume of respondents, 72 percent, do not feel they are paid their worth, and despite the average pay rise across the Middle East being five percent, 44 percent of survey respondents did not receive a pay rise in the last 12 months  – an increase of seven percent on last year.

"This is an unwelcome trend that needs to be addressed, especially in the light of the number of people experiencing a reduction in bonuses and commissions too," said Wilson. 

On average, the highest salaries in the region are found in Qatar at AED20,300 per month, in Dubai at AED18,795 and Abu Dhabi at AED18,221.

"An impressive 88 percent of respondents are planning to stay in the region for over three years, which is a great sign for the market and a nod towards greater stability, business challenges and a lifestyle that offers a great deal of satisfaction," said Wilson. "Money and variety or creativity of projects remain the key motivators generally for those working in the event industry."

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