In-Demand Professions and Average Salaries in the UAE

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Average Salaries by Profession in the UAE:

Salaries in the UAE are recognized as some of the highest in the world. Unskilled workers can expect to earn from $1,100 to $2,000 per month, the average salary is $3,500, while income above the average ranges from $7,500 to $8,500. The income of experienced specialists involved in a specific field and working by education is significantly higher and reaches $40,000 per month.

The picture becomes more objective if we break down the income level for each sector and relate it to the expenses required for living in the Emirates.

Economic Situation in the UAE:

The high level of salaries is ensured by a steadily growing and developing economy. Confident growth continued in 2023. In the first quarter of the year, growth was 3.8% from the figures for 2022. The total GDP reached the mark of 113.9 billion dollars, according to the report of the Ministry of Economy of the Emirates. The transportation and storage sector, in particular, stands out, bringing 21.8 billion dirhams into the country's economy and showing a higher percentage increase.

The growth of the non-oil sector was 4.8%. It is conditioned by steady domestic demand in such key economic sectors as tourism, real estate, construction, transport, and manufacturing. International experts believe that economic growth will continue in 2024 and will reach 3.2%.

The economy of the UAE demonstrates stable growth for several key reasons:

  • Diversification. The UAE actively implements a policy of diversifying the economy, developing the oil and gas sector, and investing in other areas: tourism, finance, transport, innovation, and real estate. This helps mitigate dependence on oil and gas prices and creates a sustainable economic foundation.
  • Attraction of foreign investments. The Emirates attract more and more foreign assets, creating favorable conditions for business.
  • Infrastructure projects. The country actively invests in the construction of transport arteries, airports, ports, and technology parks. This not only stimulates the economy but also creates jobs and attracts expatriates.
  • Political stability and security. They also create favorable conditions for business and tourism.
  • Flexible tax policy. The country has a 5% VAT, and in June 2023, a corporate income tax of 9% was also introduced.
  • Development of tourism. Investments in tourism, development of entertainment complexes, high-class hotels, and events attract international tourists, which is an additional source of income for the state.

In a stable economy, businesses are often more successful and profitable. This allows companies to raise employee salaries. The unemployment rate in the UAE is lower than in many large countries, at just 2.75% for 2022-2023, creating more favorable conditions for job hunting. The indicator has been steadily decreasing since 2015. For comparison: in 2016, the unemployment rate was 3.69%.

In-Demand Sectors and Professions:

The Emirates is a leading tourist state where service sectors develop at the same level as IT technologies, finance, and programming. There is still high demand for real estate – commercial and residential. From this, we can draw the following conclusion about prospective industries and professions:

  • Real estate. It is predicted that the demand for housing will continue to grow steadily, reaching 12.3% by 2026. Both local residents and expats are interested in purchasing properties.
  • Logistics. Demand is related to the UAE's convenient geographical location.
  • Construction industry. The sector's growth is directly related to the increasing demand for real estate.
  • Manufacturing. The most developed are the oil and gas industry, the production of building materials, and modern computer equipment.
  • Investments and finance. The UAE is the largest global financial center.
  • Tourism. The Emirates remain a pleasant place for relaxation, preferred by affluent Russians. The most popular type of holiday is “all-inclusive,” and most tourists choose Dubai or Abu Dhabi as a city for relaxation. Dubai is among the top global tourist destinations.
  • Trade. The Emirates are attractive for setting up a business and entrepreneurial activities. Hence, high indicators of turnover and export.
  • IT industry. The country hosts international universities providing education in the field of Computer Science.
  • Public catering, restaurant business. It is forecasted that by 2029 the market volume will reach 43.98 billion dollars, with an expected average growth of 17.26% during the forecast period.
  • Services and services. The UAE is famous for its luxury hotels, spa centers, cosmetic salons, private beaches, and high levels of personal service.

According to the latest data, the real estate market in Dubai continued to grow in November 2023, increasing by 1.17%, and reached a record level of 1,271 dirhams per square foot, exceeding the previous record by 3%, which was reached in September 2014. Against the backdrop of real estate, other industries logically grow, increasing the number of expatriates, foreign investments, students, young families coming from other countries. All of them need housing, stable work in developed and in-demand sectors, and the Emirates strive to provide this.

Minimum and Average Salaries in the UAE for 2023:

The exact level of salary depends on the industry, the prestige of the company, and the position held. Below are approximate salary values for Dubai. The information may change. For example, in programming, the salary will differ for specialists of junior and senior categories.

ProfessionMinimum Salary, USD/monthAverage Salary, USD/month
Office Workersfrom 2,000from 5,000 to 8,000 and above
Engineersfrom 3,000from 6,000 to 10,000 and above
Medical Specialists (Doctors, Nurses)from 4,000from 7,000 to 10,000 and above
IT Specialists (Programmers, System Administrators)from 3,000from 6,000 to 12,000 and above
Waiters and Service Stafffrom 1,000from 3,000 to 6,000 and above
Construction Workersfrom 1,000from 3,000 to 7,000 and above
Financiers (Accountants, Financial Analysts)from 3,000from 6,000 to 12,000 and above
Marketers and Advertisersfrom 3,000from 6,000 to 12,000 and above
Teachersfrom 2,000from 5,000 to 10,000 and above
Logistics and Supplyfrom 3,000from 6,000 to 12,000 and above
Lawyersfrom 4,000from 8,000 to 15,000 and above
HR Specialistsfrom 3,000from 6,000 to 12,000 and above
Graphic Designersfrom 2,500from 5,000 to 10,000 and above
Aviation Specialists (Pilots, Flight Attendants)from 4,000from 8,000 to 15,000 and above

Most citizens start their professional journey with salaries around $4,000, while qualified specialists can already expect an average salary in the UAE of $8,000 to $10,000 per month. Meanwhile, the average salary in Dubai will be higher than in Abu Dhabi, differing by several hundred to $1,000. This highlights the high standards of living and career growth opportunities available in the UAE.

Factors influencing salary levels:

  • Level of Education
  • Higher education: +10-20%;
  • Additional qualifications or certificates: +5-15%.
  • Work Experience
  • For each year of experience: +1-5%;
  • Experience in a relevant field for more than 5 years: +10-20%.
  • Specialized Skills
  • Knowledge of additional languages: +5-15%;
  • Expertise in specific technologies or areas: +10-25%.
  • Work Sector
  • Employment in a high-tech industry (IT, finance): +10-25%;
  • Specialized industries (oil and gas, aviation): +15-30%.
  • Geographical Location
  • Working in Dubai or Abu Dhabi: +10-20%;
  • Working in less developed regions: -5-10%.
  • Economic Conditions
  • During periods of economic growth: +5-15%;
  • During economic downturns: -5-10%.

When considering salary levels, it is important to take into account taxes and living expenses.

Taxes on Salaries

The main taxation consists of two main taxes: VAT 5% and corporate tax 9%. VAT does not apply to companies registered in free economic zones, provided that the company trades outside the UAE. Both taxes apply on the mainland if the company's turnover exceeds 375,000 dirhams. If a company's profit does not exceed 3 million dirhams for the first three years of operation, it can be exempt from corporate tax. Personal income taxes are not imposed.

Until 2018, the absence of taxes was part of the official tax policy of the Emirates. The state still strives to maintain low tax rates, and the system is significantly simplified compared to Russia.

Visas and State Support

Most benefits are available when applying for a visa. The easiest paths to obtaining a visa include investing in the country's economy, engaging in entrepreneurial activities, official employment, education, or purchasing real estate.

The majority of the UAE population are foreigners. Therefore, there are enough job opportunities for expats.

The employee and employer sign an employment contract. The employer also covers visa fees and pays for health insurance.

The responsibility for arranging a visa for the employment of a foreign employee lies with the employer, who applies to the Ministry. After the application is approved, the employer online arranges an Entry Permit, i.e., a residence visa for the foreigner.

Conclusion: Salary Levels and Living Expenses

Most senior management positions are held by nationals, but with active work and demonstration of abilities, one can expect career growth. Salaries in the UAE are high by CIS standards.

Approximate percentage distribution of expenses:

Housing: 30-40%. For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai can range from $2,000 to $4,000 per month;

  • Utility services: 5-10%;
  • Transport: 15-20%;
  • Car expenses: 8-12%;
  • Groceries: 10-15%;
  • Household goods: 2-5%;
  • Insurance: 3-7%;
  • Medical services: 2-5%;
  • Education: 5-10%;
  • Education payment (if you have children): 3-7%;
  • Entertainment and leisure: 5-10%;
  • Savings and investments (if desired): 10-15%.

The high salaries of the United Arab Emirates, diverse career opportunities, and modern living standards create a unique environment for those who aspire to a successful career and comfortable lifestyle.

And if you want to try your hand at entrepreneurship and set up your own business, turn to The Level Consulting for support. We will help register your company in the UAE, process the license and documents for each field of activity, open accounts in foreign banks, and provide legal support at every stage.

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