Abu Dhabi, Qatar Employers Pay 30% Over Dubai, Robert Half Says

Employers in Abu Dhabi and Qatar offer as much as 30 percent more money than their counterparts in Dubai to attract candidates because of the cost of living, James Sayer, Robert Half International Inc. (RHI)’s Dubai-based director of Central Europe and the Middle East, said March 20.

On the premium candidates demand to live in Abu Dhabi and Qatar:

“When it comes to companies and doing business in the region, Dubai is still the preferred option because people want to live here and the infrastructure is great. People are demanding about 20 percent to 30 percent more money to live in Abu Dhabi and Qatar than in Dubai because the cost of living in those areas is higher than in Dubai. Rents in Dubai have fallen significantly, so it’s benefiting from that immensely.”

On hiring picking up in the United Arab Emirates in 2011:

“As a business, we saw hiring increase by 35 percent in 2011 compared with 2010, and the majority of our recruitment in the U.A.E. was in Dubai. What we saw in the past two to three years is that a number of companies have had hiring freezes, so when someone left they generally wouldn’t find a replacement. In 2011, we saw hiring starting to pick up and companies returning to the market and rehire.”

On industries in the U.A.E. that boosted hiring in 2011:

“The industries we saw the most hiring in are fast-moving consumer goods, retail and construction. We are seeing that those sectors have quite a solid recovery moving into 2011 and in 2012.”

On expatriates in Bahrain looking for work elsewhere:

“There has been uplift in expatriates living in Bahrain who are keen to move to other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

On opening an office in Qatar:

“We’re about to open up an operation in Qatar in the next two months, but it depends on the licensing. From the clients we’ve spoken to, they’re going to ramp up their recruitment in 2013 to help them cope with the big infrastructure projects. Client demand has been for people specialized in legal, finance and accounting, and risk and compliance, especially because of all the big infrastructure projects in the works. The hiring is weighted more toward local Qatari firms.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dana El Baltaji in Dubai at delbaltaji@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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