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UAE Management Accountancy Salaries Higher Than Average in Middle East and Africa Regions, IMA Data Reveals

IMA Reveals Results of Its 2019 UAE Salary Survey

IMA announced the results of its 2019 UAE Salary Survey. Responses garnered from the survey positively highlight how a professional certification has a clear and definite impact on salaries in the UAE. Having a CMA (Certified Management Accountant) opened doors to enhanced career opportunities, with 83% of respondents agreeing with this statement, and 81% expressing that it did strengthen their job security in a dynamic business landscape.

The earning power of respondents in the UAE is significantly more than those in the MEA region as identified in the results of the study. Average salaries in the UAE are 178% higher and the average total compensation is 177% higher, compared to those in the MEA region. Overall, respondents in the UAE earn a higher median compensation versus those in the MEA region, where the median base salary and total compensations were $16,000 and $19,000, respectively. In a clear trend, those holding the CMA qualification continue to earn higher median salaries and higher median total compensation in the UAE compared to their counterparts who do not possess the certification. The median salary for respondents holding the CMA in the UAE was 54% higher compared to those without it.

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Monetary compensation is found to be a determining factor that contributes significantly to job satisfaction. On a global level, there has been a marked increase in job satisfaction from the previous year’s results. In the UAE, 79.5% of the respondents were either somewhat or strongly in agreement with the statement, “I love my job,” which is an increase of 35% compared to overall satisfaction in 2017. This marked increase in job satisfaction is despite a drop in average compensation for the year and with only 42% of the respondents agreeing that their compensation package was competitive with their peers.

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In addition to compensation, several factors contribute toward job satisfaction, including raises and hours worked. In the UAE, 44.4% of respondents reported that they received a raise within the past year, with an average raise of around 14.7% and a median raise of 10%. An interesting outcome of the study found that a higher percentage of women received raises in the last year, compared to men (47.5% vs. 43.3%).

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As concerns about job security and stability increase with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) in the Digital Age, respondents were asked how they felt AI would affect their company, the finance function, and their job status in the near future. Overall, 65% felt confident that their jobs would not be replaced by AI any time soon. Furthermore, those in top management roles felt most confident that their jobs would not be replaced (84%), whereas those in lower management felt less confident (48%). Forty-nine percent of respondents either somewhat or strongly agreed that AI would greatly impact their company in the next two years, while 53% agreed that the finance function would also be impacted in the same time period.

“The UAE has been a productive economy providing job opportunities across a wide range of sectors in the region. It offers professionals promising career paths that allow them to excel at various levels of the corporate ladder,” said Hanadi Khalife, Director, ME and India operations at IMA. “The survey showcases the added value the CMA creates for management accountants in building up-to-date knowledge and professional expertise. Similar to other regions in the Middle East, more than half of the respondents this year expressed their confidence that AI will not replace their roles. This is a positive conclusion of the study, as it shows the pertinence of acquiring and developing new skills, which address technological advancements in the workplace.”

The study, covering data for the year 2018, surveyed 302 IMA members from across the UAE concentrating on four Emirates: DubaiAbu DhabiSharjah, and Ras al Khaimah. More than half of the respondents were from Dubai (58.9%), with an additional 29.8% from Abu Dhabi and 7% and 3.6% in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah respectively. The number of respondents from the UAE increased from 123 in 2017 to 302 in 2018, showing a significant increase of 246%. The report summarizes information related to education, certification, as well as experience, and analyzes the effects these factors have on compensation. On a qualitative note, it also presents information gathered from respondents regarding their satisfaction with their jobs.

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