UAE job-seekers consider salary and work environment when picking an employer

Employees also prefer companies that offer job security and have good ethics and a friendly culture, survey finds

Sixty-eight per cent of UAE professionals said a company’s perks and benefits were the most compelling reason to join as an employee. Getty
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About 64 per cent of employees in the UAE said that salary and compensation are the primary reasons that attract them to employers, according to a survey by jobs portal and market research company YouGov.

Sixty-one per cent of employees cited work environment and 50 per cent picked long-term job security as other reasons that attracted them to companies, according to the survey, which polled 2,473 respondents from countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Lebanon between November 17 and December 14 last year.

Meanwhile, 16 per cent of workers in the UAE said a positive media presence was the least important factor in choosing an employer while 15 per cent said the aesthetics of the company, such as the logo and website design, did not matter to them, the research revealed.

“Our annual Talent Attraction and Retention survey demonstrates that a large number of UAE professionals hold their current workplace in high regard and would even recommend their employers to other job seekers,” said Ola Haddad, director of human resources at

“Organisations in the region should continue engaging their talent and seeking their feedback to improve their ability to attract top talent and to drive up their loyalty in 2022 and beyond.”

About 43 per cent of businesses in the UAE plan to increase salaries this year by an average of 3 per cent as the job market and economy improve on the back of Expo 2020 Dubai and the government’s positive handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a December report by recruitment agency Cooper Fitch.

The Cooper Fitch UAE Salary Guide 2022, which polled more than 600 companies in the UAE, found that 35 per cent of businesses plan to increase salaries by up to 5 per cent. One in 25 companies will offer employees a raise between 6 per cent to 9 per cent while one in 20 businesses will boost wages by 10 per cent or more.

Meanwhile, seven in 10 UAE-based employees said that good ethics and practices made a company an attractive employer while 67 per cent picked a friendly company culture and 49 per cent chose companies that engage in corporate social responsibilities, according to

About 28 per cent of employees in the Emirates said that they consider social media to be the most effective medium to promote a company’s culture to job seekers while 27 per cent cited online company pages, the survey found.

Sixty-eight per cent of those polled said a company’s perks and benefits were the most compelling reason to join as an employee while 46 per cent picked employee testimonials and reviews, and 38 per cent chose company events, according to

Sixty-one per cent of workers in the UAE picked career development opportunities as the most important on-the-job attribute that attracted them to employers.

After being hired, 38 per cent said the most important driver of loyalty was job security, 37 per cent picked opportunities for long-term career development while 35 per cent chose training and development opportunities, according to the survey.

“Data shows that multiple factors drive employees’ commitment to their work, including the work environment in which they work, opportunities to grow and develop and their relationships with their companies,” said Zafar Shah, research director at YouGov.

About 60 per cent of the working population in the UAE said they are happy at their current workplace while 66 per cent said they would recommend their employer to someone looking for a job, the research revealed.

Further, 66 per cent of the respondents said they would apply in the current organisation for their existing role if they had to do it all over again, according to

However, 71 per cent of employees in the UAE said they will probably change their current company in the next six months.

Forty per cent of respondents cited the lack of opportunities for advancement as the main reason to look for a change while 33 per cent picked compensation not being up to market standards, the survey showed.

Updated: January 18, 2022, 4:00 AM