July 25, 2016


Author: SMR Corporate  

Two business people meeting. SMR looks at trends for security jobs in the UAE.

Does the recently forecasted GDP growth rate for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mean there will be more career opportunities for security practitioners in that country? If so, what kind of compensation packages can be expected? This article takes a look at trends in the region as well as key considerations for security management already located there.

Quite a few of Security Management Resources®’ most recent recruitment projects have been in the MENA Region, and we regularly track hiring trends in the area to ensure our counsel for client companies is on point and consistent with regional trends. We recently read the Capital Economics Q2 2016 Middle East Outlook with interest, noting their forecast for average GDP growth for countries in the region at just 1.3 percent. 

There is a notable exception to that statistic, however, which is the United Arab Emirates. Organizations such as the Institute of International Finance recently estimated growth in the UAE in 2016 would be 3.0 percent, slightly down from 3.5 percent in 2015 but outperforming the majority of the region.

This finding seems to be consistent with SMR’s experience of increased work in the area including senior- and regional-level security management placements in the UAE. We have additionally been contracted to provide in-depth remuneration analyses for multi-nationals who are considering placing positions in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. This increased activity appears to support a trend towards placement of security roles in the UAE as a base for regional responsibility, and holds true for companies across a variety of industries.

The total compensation packages for these UAE positions vary widely within an approximate range of 500,000 AED to 1,000,000 AED. Components of the packages also differ and can include housing and car allowances, insurances, schooling and bonuses in addition to base salary.

The forecasted growth for the UAE coupled with the attractive remuneration for regional security roles makes these positions attractive. However, the challenge for incumbents in these security jobs is where their career advancement lies. Very often the role they currently inhabit is their company’s sole security and risk related position in the region. In order to progress, a move outside of the region – or outside of the company – is required in order to take the next step up on the career ladder.

Security professionals already in the region will need to consider if the favorable economic projections for the UAE support increased opportunity for localized career growth vs. leaving the region in order to advance.

Read about SMR’s array of service offerings then contact us to learn more about our recent projects in the MENA region.