30.6 C
Doha
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Arab expats top Western peers in Qatar wage survey

-

Qatari Riyals

As the wage gap among white-collar foreign workers of different nationalities closes across the Gulf, Arab expats have pulled ahead of their Western counterparts in Qatar, a new survey has found.

The change comes amid rising compensation for Arabs and declining wages for positions held by Westerners and Asians working in Qatar, according to data published this week by Gulf Business.

The publication collected salary information for 20 management-level positions in fields such as healthcare, real estate, human resources and the media in all the GCC countries, based on input from four recruitment companies.

Contributors to the survey aren’t suggesting that current Western and Asian expats are taking pay cuts; instead, employers are lowering their salary offers as positions turn over.

An unweighted average of the 20 positions shows white-collar Arab expats earned an average monthly salary of US$12,518. That’s 1.5 per cent more than the average salary for Western workers ($12,332) in the same occupations.

The data reflects a considerable reversal from 2013, when Western expats made an average of $13,117 per month, 13 percent more than Arab workers in Qatar ($11,595).

Asian expats trailed far behind in both years and saw their average salary drop from $9,878 per month in 2013 to $9,571 this year.

The finding that wages are declining for professional positions from Western and Asian countries runs counter to a pair of surveys released earlier this year that found employers plan to hike salaries in order to attract employees.

If the Gulf Business findings are accurate, it could alleviate fears of rampant wage inflation caused by Dubai and Qatar competing for skilled foreign workers in the run up to the 2020 World Expo and 2022 World Cup.

GCC perspective

The Qatar numbers reflect a Gulf-wide trend that’s seen the premium paid to Western expats over Arabs shrink from 14.5 per cent last year to 2.38 per cent in 2014, according to Gulf Business.

Like in Qatar, Arab expats across the GCC are earning more, while salaries for the average Western and Asian white-collar worker are declining.
Ian Giulianotti, the director at Nadia Recruitment & Training, gave the following explanation to Gulf Business:

“There has been an influx of well- qualified Arabs into the GCC, especially the UAE, and they are taking senior positions that were previously being held by European and American nationals…”

“Over the last two to three years, as (Western employees) are leaving, companies are taking the opportunity to hire the same standard of worker but at slightly lower salaries.”

Thoughts?

50 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
50 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

This report quite obviously shows the discrimination against western expats in favour of Arabs nationals. This is a scandal on par with the kafala system…. 😉

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

agreed, western expats should rise against this injustice. The average white collar western expat only makes a small $12,300 a month, that’s just under $150,000 a year. No tax, and without accounting for benefits such as housing and schooling and annual airline tickets!! the injustice!! western expats in doha should rise in protest and all leave… but remeber to apply 72 hours in advance before you leave 😉

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Don’t get carried away with those numbers. Most make less than that. Its an average of 20 positions and for those that understand statistics we know the reality.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

True. These are the salaries of top managers and consultants. Middle managers, engineers and specialists get much less than that.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I say we should get carried away, if were talking about Qataris then only 1% of them would be enough to generalize the whole population (DN mentality).

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

Shoulder, chip

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Looking in the mirror are we 😉

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Oh no, you’ve found me out

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

I had other words in mind but those will do for now.

Smile
Smile
7 years ago

Generalizing is common around the world. one black African Taxi driver cheat a Philipino expat, all African drivers are thief. One Philipino lady engage in prostitution, all Philipion ladies are prostitute. One india commit rape, all indians are rapist. Unfortunately, from my experience charting and reading different peoples comment on various platform, majority of people around the world think that way even people who claim they don’t really do. I have many familiar examples on Dohanews. As a black man from Africa, i experience this a lot but still have positive opinions about some of my friends from India, philipines, banglash, Iran, Uk, Qataries etc.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

And if you’re American you pay taxes so not all of us are filthy rich. Where can I sign up for these $12,500/mo jobs?

Desert Rose
Desert Rose
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Yeah right MIMH. I am a Western Muslim convert who happens to have a Post Graduate Degree in English and who just happens to wear full Islamic attire (I have done for 15 years, even in my own country- so this is not something I am doing just because I am in Qatar). I have years of experience- yet the discrimination I have been exposed to (mainly by Western expats) is really quite irritating. It seems I do not ‘fit the image’ of Western English teacher (I look like an Arab). I have got a foot in the door, when I door knock and schools hear my accent -but the wages are a joke (to the point my husband said he’d rather pay me to stay home!). When I look at the recruitment pages of certain schools I find that they are having intense (desperate) recruitment drives in England and Ireland and would settle for teachers with very little experience, much less cultural awareness (please ladies- it’s a school, not a nightclub) , and wages higher than what I am offered.
Funnily enough, in my own country I was inundated with job offers in hejab and (black) abaya, because it was about my skill, experience and education and I was protected by Discrimination Legislation. Now in Qatar, I resent the discriminators crying foul. I highlight the discrimination I have experienced was by expats, not Qatari’s. Now, before the comments roll, I wouldn’t hesitate to return home, but I would think this selfish since my husband and children are settling nicely. For what it’s worth, I too, am enjoying Qatar. Although I’m frustrated, as I feel as though I have so much to offer.
Thank you for this report DN, I find it very exciting that Qatar have stepped up and are challenging Western Hegemony and Western Linguistic/Cultural Imperialism. Having said this, I do feel for Asian blue collar workers, but I am confident that Qatar just needs time and their generosity will come through.
I agree too, with one of the comments that expats are swimming in money, yet they’re forever whining. Also, in response to another comment personally,I just don’t see the difference (perhaps English as a Lingua Franca) between a plumber from the West or a plumber from the East. I would strenuously object to either being CEO- unless of course, it were a plumbing company…

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Desert Rose

I hope you don’t teach the after school comedy club but maybe you prefer the ‘completely missed the point’ after school activities…..

Also I don’t see what being a western Muslim convert has anything to do with this. Converts to any religion are just the worst, never stop bringing it up at every opportunity and bores the rest of us

Desert Rose
Desert Rose
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

MIMH I have to agree with you on one point- “Converts to any religion are the worst…” In all honesty my family and I avoided them in our home country. The reason I brought it up though has to do with cultural sensitivity- or lack of it. Please don’t misunderstand- each to their own, even in Qatar. What ever people wear really is their choice, as far as I’m concerned. However, I think a certain amount of responsibility comes with teaching. I don’t think it’s fair or justified for teachers to wear revealing clothes- especially when dealing with youth- of any denomination.
Also, I don’t know whether you have children but the after school activities is more like a baby sitting club. True. However, for any parent who has to work until 5 what choice do they have? Do you have better suggestions for them or the system?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Desert Rose

As for discrimination in Qatar it is rampant across all races and cultures. I’m not saying that is right, but that is the reality on the ground.

I’m sure you wouldn’t consider teaching English at a Filipino school or an Indian or Arab one because you don’t like wages, that is your own form of discrimination

Desert Rose
Desert Rose
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Thanks MIMH, but you’re mistaken. I would happily teach at a Filipino, Indian or Arab school(I have already applied for this one) if they would take me. I would happily do so for a lot less money, too. As I realize the resources are not there- the school fees are much less. I doubt you would like the wages if you spent 5years of your life at University either, only to be paid the absolute minimum. Sounds arrogant I know but it is the reality. I think you’ve missed the point. I object to be paid less than those with less qualifications and experience. I am not objecting to the wages in general. In fact MIMH I already tutor- for FREE. The ladies (who approached me) cannot afford tutition, in this case I’m more than happy to oblige. I am in the process of finding a place to offer free English to ANYBODY- this most certainly includes Filipino/Indian maids. For me teaching English is a vehicle for change, to improve one’s life/circumstances. To me, learning English isn’t just to understand American movies (!), and it should NEVER, EVER mean the forfeiting, or neglect of one’s own mother tongue/home culture.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

This survey is not necessarily accurate, and to be honest, the median salary for white collars mentioned here (12,5k) is only about top managers but not middle managers, engineers and specialists.

That said, it is understandable that Arabs have priority over Westerners when it comes to hiring, since most companies see proficiency in both English and Arabic as a must or at least highly desirable. Therefore those who only speak English are at a disadvantage compared to their Arab peers.

Mayette
Mayette
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Depends on the position. Engineers and specialists don’t really need proficiency in Arabic but jobs that handle the local market do. You won’t find a job on either level in Sweden if unless you know swedish

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  Mayette

This also depends 🙂 I have seen many job posts about IT engineers and specialists requiring Arabic proficiency. At the same time, I understand that, for many positions, other skills are more important than the Arabic language proficiency, such a long experience in an international environment. In this case, companies would resort to hiring an Arabic-speaking assistant to help the Western expat.

The example of Sweden is completely different. There is hardly any shortage in local talent for any position there.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I agree with your point. I also believe the government should be giving more priority and incentives for long-term Arab expats, because to be honest, they deserve it and they’re more likely to stay in the country in the long-term. I feel like these findings could be a move by GCC governments recognizing they need a long-term and skilled workforce because the Qatari population is not large enough to sustain the economy. Therefore, perhaps more policies could be put forward to give Arab expats an incentive to remain and contribute to the economy. Also, there will probably be less friction between Arab expats and the local population since, well, we mostly share the same values, same language, same history and the same culture 🙂

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Stay long term..sure offer us dual citizenship

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

It makes sense to give expats some incentives to stay, but definitely not citizenship. They might create a new residency status whereby residents are allowed to freely buy and rent houses, to receive a pension after retirement (obviously not free from the state but based on contributions), to have some sort of representation in a local committee/council, etc. This would take time and has to be thought through properly, but it has to be done in the next decade or so, otherwise the 2030 vision would not be achievable; at least not to the extent it is “expected” to be.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Well said I agree. I was just having a dig 😉

Mayette
Mayette
7 years ago

It’s not about money. Those arab senior managers and directors have dual citizenships whoch help. To add, it’s a strategic move, not all westerners and Asians can accommodate to local business climates, while arabs can do so easily if you choose well. Businesses with high stakeholder management and local staff run smoother in good cases and makes communication a lot easier

KK
KK
7 years ago

I am a bit suprised; even young Qataris in our company start at a salary of approx. QAR 9,000 a month. Then the next layer of Qataris (representing the largest group) make anything up to QAR 25,000; . Only a handful Qataris make more than QAR 30,000. Other Arabs make anything between QAR 5,000 up to QR 25,000 (like Indians). There are no ‘other Arabs’ in managements positions… (reason ?). No Western expat makes less than QAR 35,000. (Additional clarifications, most ‘other Arabs’ have also Canadian or UK passports; they are not considered Westerners in our company. Not my choice, but color of your skin seems to matter). Senior management makes up to QAR 80,000 a month; only CEO gets more. All salary levels are basic salary levels

And regarding allowances, there is a difference but much less than you would expect. Allowances for all cover mainly schooling (limited scales apply per country/region of origin (!), travel, transportation; accommodation is provided by the company but again depends on your country/region of origin). Western expats get a next layer of allowances; possibility to rent your own house/flat fully paid, additional home trips for the family and first class business travel (lucky me).

Regarding sick leave ( = number of days absent from work). On first spot ; Other Arabs, second spot : young Qataris, third spot : South-East Asians and Indians and fourth spot : others

Jen
Jen
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

I know you are talking abt your company–but in mine I am one of the many westerners earing below QR30,000!

KK
KK
7 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Sorry to hear. To clarify, I work for a large government owned company. Possibly you can check their websites. I know several of these companies (not ministries) are actively recruiting as it near impossible to find qualified staff. Salaries for Westerners are QAR 35,000 onwards excluding allowances and the option to choose housing or to live in a company compound.

Jen
Jen
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

I also work for a large government organization–and the majority of westerners are getting less than QR30,000. Some earn 40,00-60,000. I think one only realizes the differences in salaries of did companies when one arrives. I find it hard to change jobs here. But–I do say that–what with no tax or bills I am better off financially than in my country. I think everyone should be paid the same for the same job (irrespective of nationalities)–with extra amounts for yrs of experience.

KK
KK
7 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Correct, once in Qatar, you are ‘stuck’ and it is difficult to change jobs even if your sponsor agrees ‘to release you’. I know of colleagues (not only westerners) who went to Dubai for a better contract. Not the easy way (especially when having a family with), but it is possible.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

What website. My resume is in my hand ?

KK
KK
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

If you have an engineering background : look at Firecroft; if you are in finance get in touch with Michael Page or get in touch with (western) recruitment agencies in DFIC. Good luck.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

Thankyou.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

This is quite surprising for me. I work in a government institution and the pattern is different:
– Most of the Arabs earn somewhere between 8.000 and 21.000 (basic + allowance). They also get free accommodation (2 or 3 bedroom apartments or villas for big families).
– Most of the Western expats get somewhere between 12.000 and 25.000 (basic + allowance). They too get the free accommodation (2 or 3 bedroom apartments or villas for big families).
– Most of the Qataris get somewhere between 18.000 and 45.000 (all allowances included).
– Expat directors get between 30k and 45k + free accommodation (a villa in a compound).
– Chiefs get different packages that may go up to 90k.

For sick leave, it is mostly Qataris (and not all of them put the request for it in the system), followed by Arabs and then Western expats.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

And I forgot to add:
For business trips, it is mostly Western expats followed by Qataris. Arabs get hardly any business trips.
Both expats and Qataris take business trips for tourism matters. It is like a paid vacation for them. Some of the Western expats travel once a month on average, and some even more. I have seen a director going to Paris twice a month, allegedly to see the architect of the project she was working on, but in reality to do shopping. She was fired when they discovered it (and other irregularities) but that was 4 years after she joined.

KK
KK
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yep, I agree. But our travel policy is strict and business travel is approved by Qataris only. The fact that they rarely approve business travel other than for Qataris and Westerners must have a reason. It is important to mention that many rules (and decisions taken) are based on country/region of origin.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

No western expat makes less then 35 k. Are you joking or have you overloaded on QDC product?

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago

as it becomes harder to get work in western countries,western expats become willing to work for lesser and lesser salaries

KK
KK
7 years ago

Western Expats willing to work for lesser and lesser ? Keep on dreaming/hoping. Expats from Germany, France, Scandinavia, Benelux working in GCC come here for 2-3 years contracts. These people are highly qualified and can move to next highest bidder in the region. Keep in contact with the Western owned headhunters in UAE to check your market value. If not you are the mercy of your ‘sponsor’

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

sure thing buddy, thats why they always complain about money because there swimming in it

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago

Western expats in Qatar “are swimming in it (money)? They earn every last riyal. The exploitive work culture, the social culture, the climate, the whole experience is brutal to people who have been brought up on civil liberties, human rights, freedom of speech and movement, and the right to move employer if dissatisfied.

johnny wang
johnny wang
7 years ago

Instead of coming up with this ridiculous surveys from time to time could someone do a survey on the lower level workers who are made to survive on ridiculously low salaries and more often then not , not paid for months. Could somebody suggest ways that would benefit this group of workers and make life a bit more bearable for them too. It would be well worth it if GREED for more and more money is kept aside once in a while and some time is set aside to work on solutions that would benefit others.

Omar
Omar
7 years ago

I’m glad Qatar is realizing that it doesn’t need Western plumbers workings as CEOs 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar

No it needs Egyptian ones…..

Myrddin
Myrddin
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar

Unless of course it was a plumbing company, then being a plumber might be more advantageous than an MBA. Many successful companies have been chaired by ex-tradesmen who have climbed the ladder to executive status. Then came fast track graduates, all full of wonderful theories but not a scooby about what the company actually does.

Jen
Jen
7 years ago

I honestly believe everyone should be paid the same for doing the same type of job–with extra for yrs of experience. However I do realize that that perhaps is too much of a simplistic mindset as I know some countries set the salary limit for people from their country.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  Jen

The expression “everyone should be paid the same for doing the same type of job”, looks like you’re against having a job market, and prefer a more socialist stance on wages.

Jen
Jen
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

What I’m against is someone doing a job and then a colleague is doing the exact same job with the same qualifications and is paid much less.

Smile
Smile
7 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I disagree with you Mr. Jen. for example, we both have same qualification or i probably have more. ok let say same qualification, but i have 20 years experience in the same field + i am 42 yrs of age and u sir just graduated or say with 1 year of experience in same field and u are 22 years of age. Now we are employ in that same field to do same job. are you saying the company should pay us same basic salary? what happen to my 20 years of experience? If you are me would you accept it to be that way? and whats the usefulness of experience on the same job for 20 years?

Amber
Amber
7 years ago

Arab expats probably should be given more incentives as they are more likely to stay at their job and Qatar on a long term basis. Western expats generally come here work for 5 years tops the leave. Also knowing the national language doesn’t hurt either.

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago

This comes at a time when western economies and construction are recovering, so how one might ask, in the Qatar labour market that is now desperate for western construction professionals, can salaries be declining?

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Flashy cars, cash seized as police arrest unlicensed investor

0
A man in Qatar was arrested on charges of money laundering and investment activities without a license. The ministry of interior announced the arrest of...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.