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Shortage of high-end executives in the Gulf, despite slump in job market

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, March 28 - 2009 @ 17:00

The regional management expert, Dr. Ali Sharab, says that firing executives in these troubled times will make it difficult for companies to recall them when the market stabilizes or bounces back. Dr Sharab added that the salaries of C suite level managers did not change, unlike the ground managers whose salaries decreased by 30 per cent.

Dr Sharab said that the decrease in the salaries will not have much impact on employees, as the cost of living is decreasing including, most noticeably in house rents.

UAE has registered the highest salary increase of 16 per cent in the GCC, according to a study made by Forsan Al Hayat, a human development foundation based in Dubai, with offices in Jeddah and Riyadh. The study was conducted over a timeframe of June 2007 to June 2008.

The study covered selected service companies from banking, insurance, real estate development, oil and gas and IT in the Gulf. Qatar came in second with 14 per cent increase, followed by Oman (11 per cent), Bahrain and Kuwait (9% each) and KSA (8%).

Dr. Sharab said:

“Private sector salaries rose phenomenally in the GCC states drive by dramatic development that took place between June 2007 and June 2008, before the financial crisis began where the crisis hit the region. The rising salaries were due to high competition among companies to get the best talent as well as the high rents that had to be factored in to make the pay package attractive.”

Average timeframe for switching of jobs, according to the study, was 18 months for middle managers and six years for CEOs.

Dr. Sharab urged companies to open an honest dialogue with employees to work mutually beneficial solutions to retain staff, such as transferring them into other units or reducing pay in lieu of shares in the company or commissions on revenues, instead of firing them”.

Arab states have to retain the Arab workforce through close collaboration internally and between each other.

Dr. Sharab predicted that salaries will not go down very much in the coming period because the demand for high end executives is still outstripping the supply and employees are very cautious to change jobs in an unstable job market.

The study shows subtle competition amongst companies to headhunt employees from competing organizations, especially amongst real estate developers, IT and FMCGs.

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Saturday, March 28- 2009 @ 17:00 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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