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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Survey: Western expats earn more than most in the Gulf


Western expats working in the GCC earn far more than expats from other areas of the world, according to a survey recently published in Gulf Business.

The 2012 Gulf Business Salary Survey focuses on expatriates living in the Gulf, breaking it down into Western, Arab and Asian expats, but doesn’t make mention of GCC citizens’ salaries. 

The UK’s Daily Telegraph has published an analysis of the results, in which, journalist Justin Harper writes:

For example, a Western expat in Saudi Arabia is paid on average six per cent more than an Arab expat and almost 30 per cent more than an Asian one. Westerners sit top of the tree in all Gulf countries, while Asian expats are the lowest paid across the region.”

The Gulf Business survey states that the highest salary for a Western CEO in Qatar is $33,463 a month.  They say a Western personal assistant earns the lowest monthly salary for a Western expat – $5,214.

By comparison, the survey found the highest salary for an Asian CEO in Qatar is $29,771 a month.

The article quotes Joshua Yim, CEO of Singapore-based recruitment firm Achieve Group, who argues that the pay difference stems from colonial times.

“I believe this phenomenon stems from a historical perception that has roots tracing back to colonial times; that Westerners are the ‘superior colony master’.”

This report follows a controversial blog post by Mostafa Sheshtawy which we featured yesterday. In his post “How Qatar Classifies its citizens,” Sheshtawy argues that Qatar is divided strictly along racial lines. 

The Gulf Business report suggests that there may be some factual basis to his argument.


Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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