Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia 2017 Salary Increase Highest in the Region

Saudi Arabia continues to lead the region in salary increases, according to a GCC-wide survey of 600 multi-national companies and locally-owned conglomerates by Aon a leading global professional services firm.

Country 2017 Projected % 2017 Actual %  
Saudi Arabia 4.9 4.4  
Kuwait 4.8 4.3  
UAE 4.6 4.3  
Qatar 4.5 4.2  
Bahrain 4.7 3.9  
Oman 4.6 3.9  

Actual salary increases this year are highest for the Life Sciences (5.1%) and Hi-Tech sectors (4.6%), while the Construction/Engineering and Transportation/Logistics/Shipping Services sectors suffered the lowest salary increases at an average of just 2.4%.

The largest study of its kind in the Gulf region showed that, just as in 2016, actual salary increases remain lower than forecasted, influenced largely by a slow economy and low oil prices.

The region-wide VAT, a tax on consumption, of 5% to be implemented in January 2018 is expected to help improve GDP growth; however, it will add to the rising inflation in the region, leading to cost pressures.

While employers choose to remain conservative in the projected salary increase of 2018, we may witness an upside in the actual salary increase, thanks to an improving economic situation as a result of increased government spending, stabilized oil prices, and the effects of economic transformation programs.


Mohammed Ameen is an expatriate blogger who loves sharing his experiences of living and working in the Gulf countries.