Salaries for UAE finance & accounting professionals expected to outpace inflation by more than three times

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  • More than four in 10 (44%) global finance leaders plan to increase base finance & accounting salaries, compared with 43% within the UAE
  • A quarter (27%) of UAE CFOs plan to increase staff bonuses, compared with 28% worldwide

Dubai, 16 May 2014 – The UAE jobs market for experienced accounting and finance professionals has further tightened, according to the latest global research1 from specialist recruiters Robert Half.  With many companies continuing to experience economic challenges, those UAE finance leaders who plan to increase base salaries for staff, will do so by an average 6.1%, easily outpacing UAE inflation by more than three times2.

Globally, however, the UAE lags behind some of the other emerging markets. Finance leaders in China are setting the pace on pay, with an expected increase on base salaries of 13.6%. Other emerging markets that outpace the UAE include Brazil (10.8%) and Singapore (6.8%), although the UAE is ahead of Chile (5.3%).

Looking at the proportion that plan increases, four in 10 (43%) UAE finance leaders said they will raise base salary levels and over a quarter (27%) will be increasing bonuses, while half (51%) will maintain current bonus offerings, according to the research.

China is also leading the way when it comes to remuneration, with 70% of finance leaders saying they plan to increase base salaries and 61% planning to increase bonuses. From an average global perspective, over four in 10 (44%) plan to increase base salaries and more than one quarter (28%) plan to increase bonuses.

2,431 global financial services CFOs/FDs were asked: What remuneration trends is your finance department currently facing

  Increased salaries Increased bonuses
Global average 44% 28%
China 70% 61%
Hong Kong 69% 43%
New Zealand 60% 31%
Brazil 58% 37%
Australia 55% 37%
Singapore 55% 37%
Japan 45% 33%
Germany 43% 29%
UAE 43% 27%
UK 42% 26%
Austria 39% 25%
Chile 39% 29%
Switzerland 39% 16%
France 28% 17%
The Netherlands 27% 12%
Belgium 23% 14%


Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director, Robert Half UAE said: “The job market for UAE accounting and finance professionals has tightened dramatically over the last couple of years, with businesses now paying a premium to recruit and retain top professionals. With organisations competing for a limited talent pool, finance professionals are in high demand, with many candidates receiving multiple offers.

“To retain business critical staff, companies need to pay competitively, as well as offer a host of other benefits, such as relocation assistance and schooling allowance. Businesses that are unsure about the different types of remuneration, benefits and/or salary bands, should look to industry salary guides as a benchmark.” 

Global Remuneration Trends Infographic Thumbnail

About the survey

1 The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 2,431 finance directors/CFOs in 16 countries: Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Chile; UAE; France; Germany; Hong Kong; New Zealand; Singapore; Switzerland; The Netherlands; UK; Japan and China.

21.85% - March 2014 (consumer prices index)

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 340 offices worldwide, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar specialising in the recruitment of accounting and finance, financial services, technology, HR and legal professionals. For more than 15 years, Robert Half has been named to FORTUNE® magazine’s list of “Most Admired Companies” and offers workplace and job seeker resources at