Salary Trends for IT Professionals in Dubai: What to Expect
Dubai’s IT industry has undergone massive growth over the past few years. Where the global technology sector is going through a tough time with massive layoffs and job uncertainty, Dubai has an increase in the demand for skilled professionals in the information technology industry.
The hiring percentage for Dubai’s technology sector was at around 77% in 2022, which is the highest it has ever been in history. Amidst the huge demand for skilled IT professionals, employers and job seekers need to be aware of the salary trends in Dubai.
In this detailed guide, we are going to explore salary trends in Dubai’s IT industry and some effective negotiation tips that you can use to land your dream job.
Salary Trends in the IT Industry in Dubai
UAE is the second largest economy in the Middle East, with Dubai being its epicenter. Dubai’s economy recovered quite well after the coronavirus, creating alluring opportunities for skilled IT professionals in the emirates.
According to Glassdoor, the estimated pay for an IT professional in Dubai ranges from AED 10K to AED 172K. The average salary is around AED 8,500. Along with that, Dubai’s government announced a metaverse plan last year which is expected to create around 40,000 jobs in the near future.
The trends in the salary for the IT industry vary based on various factors such as the positions you are applying for, the in-demand skills, your location, and the options for remote work opportunities.
What Positions Are in Demand?
According to requirement specialists, Job seekers looking to enter Dubai’s competitive IT industry sector have a great opportunity to get their desired job position, thanks to the various positions that are in demand. The most popular roles in the IT sector include Software Developer, IT Engineer, DevOps, and Digital Marketing Manager.
Dubai has a huge population of high-net-worth individuals. Which makes Dubai susceptible to cybercrimes. So, data security engineers, and cybersecurity professionals have a lot of exciting opportunities in Dubai. Along with these mainstream roles, data specialists, automation experts, and IT analytics roles have been in huge demand as well.
For the Digital Industry in Dubai, which is a subset of the IT sector, the most popular roles in the market are product development, user experience design, e-commerce specialist, and performance marketing. Professionals in all these domains are recommended to present their skills to employers looking for their specific expertise.
Impact of Latest Technologies on IT Salary Trends
Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Metaverse, Cybersecurity, Advanced Robotics, IoT, and DevOps have created a huge demand for professionals skilled in these technologies. The talent shortage is evident in data-related roles such as Data Science, Data Visualization, and Data Engineering.
As new technologies are introduced in the market, there is a demand for professionals who can work with these technologies. And companies are willing to pay quite handsomely to experts skilled in these domains. So, individuals with skills in these technologies can see a potential hike in their earning potential.
What IT Skills are in Demand?
According to reports, technical skills based on the IT sector are in demand in 2023. These include data automation, cybersecurity, programming languages including Java and Python, and IT project management. Along with the technical skills, employers are looking for stakeholder management, leadership, team management, and consultancy skills.
Software development is one of the most in-demand skills in Dubai. Other skills that might be able to help you get a good salary package in Dubai include Cloud Computing, Data Science, AI and Machine Learning, Blockchain, Network and Systems Administration, and AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality).
Salary Trends for IT Professionals Based on Job Roles
Here is a brief overview of the estimated salary trends for IT professionals based on job roles:
|IT Job Title||Salary Range|
|Chief Information Security Officer||Dh84,000 – Dh95,000|
|Cyber Security Manager||Dh51,000 – Dh61,000|
|Data Architect||Dh46,000 – Dh56,000|
|Data Scientist||Dh42,000 – Dh53,000|
|Digital Transformation Manager||Dh56,000 – Dh66,000|
|Head Of Digital||Dh54,000 – Dh69,000|
|Director Of Analytics||Dh58,000 – Dh73,000|
|IT Director||Dh63,000 – Dh73,000|
|Head Of Data Science||Dh63,000 – Dh78,000|
|Chief Information Security Officer||Dh84,000 – Dh95,000|
|Chief Product Officer||Dh73,000 – Dh95,000|
|VP Of Digital Transformation||Dh68,000 – Dh84,000|
|Head Of Cloud Business Unit||Dh53,000 – Dh68,000|
What Other Benefits Can Employees Expect?
Along with the base salary, employers are offering attractive benefits to retain talent in the UAE. From flexible working hours to medical and expenses, there is a lot to look forward to as a skilled professional. Also, some companies offer housing allowances, transportation allowances, education assistance, annual leaves, bonuses, commissions, and more.
All in all, the IT sector in Dubai is trying its hardest to secure the best talent amidst the increasing preference of job seekers to work in remote environments.
Salary Trends in Industries Other Than IT
There is a lot of earning potential for job seekers in IT as well as other industries in Dubai. You can expect to earn a decent salary depending on your skills and the market trends in terms of technology. In 2023, the increase in salaries was up to 4-5% for most job roles. Here are the salary ranges for different industries and sectors in Dubai, UAE:
|IT Job Title||Salary Range|
|Banking||Dh95,000 – Dh200,000|
|Legal||Dh105,000 – Dh231,000|
|Public Sector||Dh131,800 – Dh183,000|
|Senior Finance||Dh102,000 – Dh153,000|
|Sales And Marketing||Dh70,000 – Dh120,000|
|Manufacturing||Dh99,000 – Dh136,000|
|Supply Chain||Dh61,000 – Dh95,000|
|Human Resources||Dh104,000 – Dh147,000|
|Property And Construction||Dh65,000 – Dh100,000|
|Secretarial and Office Support||Dh20,000 – Dh35,000|
Does the Location Affect Salary Trends in Dubai?
Dubai, as a city and a hub for various industries, offers a diverse range of employment opportunities, and the salaries for IT professionals can vary based on where they work within the city. Here are some key factors to consider:
Dubai has several free zones, such as Dubai Internet City, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Dubai Knowledge Park, which are dedicated to specific industries, including technology and IT. Salaries in these zones may be influenced by the specialization in the tech sector. Companies in these areas may offer competitive salaries to attract top IT talent, as they often require highly skilled professionals to support their operations.
Many tech parks in Dubai are designed to foster innovation and growth in the technology sector. Salaries in these areas may be influenced by the demand for IT professionals with specific skills related to technology and innovation. Companies in these areas may be more inclined to offer higher salaries to attract and retain skilled employees.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Dubai can vary based on location. Some areas may have higher living expenses, such as housing and transportation costs, which could prompt employers to offer higher salaries to compensate for these expenses. Conversely, in areas with a lower cost of living, salaries may be relatively lower.
Experience and Expertise
An individual’s experience and expertise in the IT field can significantly impact their salary. Highly experienced professionals with specialized skills are likely to command higher salaries, regardless of their location within Dubai.
Do Remote Job Options Affect IT Salaries in Dubai?
The most prominent benefit for tech employees in Dubai is the flexibility in working options. You can find high-paying remote jobs and hybrid work opportunities based on your IT skills. Most companies in Dubai these days offer the option to work from home which provides a great work-life balance.
Since the salaries for remote jobs are a lot, this presents a challenge to companies who want in-house teams. As people shift to remote work options, it can get hard for employees to set up on-site teams. So, businesses need to come up with attractive salary packages and additional benefits if they want to source high-quality talent for their company.
Salary Negotiation Tips for IT Professionals in Dubai
If you are on the hunt for an IT job in Dubai and you want to land your dream job that offers you the benefits that you are expecting, you need to learn the art of salary negotiation. We understand that negotiating for a salary can be intimidating. The following tips will help ease the pressure as you go into the meeting for salary negotiation:
Know Your Value
You should do your research into the standard pay in Dubai for someone with your education, skills, and experience. This helps you come up with a number that suits your expectations. After that, you can enter the negotiation with all the facts at your fingertips.
Set a Baseline but Be Flexible
Use the data that you have gathered in the research phase to set a baseline for your salary expectations. This is the minimum number that you’d be willing to accept. Stretch your goal and make it ambitious. However, be flexible to return to the baseline based on the situation during the negotiation.
Learn to Sell Yourself
Learning to sell is not just for marketers. As a job seeker, you have to sell your skills to your employer. So, make sure to spend time learning about ways to sell yourself effectively during the salary negotiation. You can do that by highlighting your experience and demonstrating the value that you bring to the table.
Practice Your Talking Points
Practice, and practice a lot before entering the salary negotiation. You do not want to fumble during the session as it sets a bad impression. Make someone close to you listen to your pitch and prepare for different situations that may come up during the negotiations.
Be Ready to Answer Difficult Questions
Some employers have different tests to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of potential employees. You may want to prepare yourself for mental gymnastics so that you stay on top of everything. It is quite common to feel unnerved by difficult questions. You need to stay true to yourself and present your best version.
There is a fine line between confidence and overconfidence. While acting confidently increases your chances of getting hired, overconfidence can put things in reverse gear. Project confidence by dressing appropriately, being pleasant, and responding thoughtfully to the questions asked by the employer.
Consider the Perks
Salary isn’t the only thing that should affect your decision regarding a job offer. You may also want to consider additional perks such as work flexibility, signing bonuses, stock options, and medical amenities before responding. The bottom line, you need to consider the whole package before making the final decision.
IT industry in Dubai is seeking skilled professionals in various information technologies domains including development, security, and management. The salary trends seem to be moving in the upwards direction with high salary packages being paid to IT professionals based on their specific area of expertise. Also, there are a lot of amenities and added benefits offered by employers to IY professionals in Dubai. Based on the salary stats from last year, the future projections for salary trends in the IT industry in Dubai look quite promising.
Contact Marc Ellis for professional IT recruitment services in Dubai, UAE.