Housing allowances in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to rise this year, survey finds

A survey by human resources consultantcy Mercer said the emirates could see an average increase of nearly 10 per cent this year.

A report says at least a quarter of workers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will benefit from a rise in housing allowances in 2014. Razan Alzyani / The National
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DUBAI // Housing allowances are set to rise this year, providing some relief to more than a quarter of workers in the capital and Dubai, according to a survey by a global human-resources consultant.

Of 147 companies polled in the two emirates, 24 per cent of companies in Abu Dhabi and 41 per cent in Dubai indicated that they would raise housing benefits, according to findings by Mercer.

The average increase forecast for 2014 across organisations is 9.8 per cent in Dubai and 9.5 per cent in Abu Dhabi, according to the report “Spot Survey on Housing Allowance Increase in UAE”.

Of 90 organisations that responded to an inquiry about which employees would qualify, those in the capital said 91 per cent of their workforce and Dubai-based firms said 82 per cent.

The report concluded that 28 per cent of employees in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai would benefit.

“I would venture that the well-reported rise in Dubai rents is the reason why companies there are considering an increase,” said Nuno Gomes, Mercer’s Middle East information solutions business leader.

“Almost one in four workers in Abu Dhabi looks set to receive a rise in their accommodation allowance, with one in three Dubai employees likely to receive an increase. Rental rates in Abu Dhabi have remained stable in comparison, at least for the past 12 to 18 months, so organisations in the capital are not under the same pressure.”

Organisations had reacted cautiously to reports of steep 15 to 30 per cent increases in some Dubai locations, he said.

The Mercer survey also showed that last year 15 per cent of Abu Dhabi and 25 per cent of Dubai companies increased accommodation remuneration.

The survey polled organisations across industry sectors with high-technology companies heading the list followed by energy firms and the services sector.