Gone are the days of restless workers shifting from one job to another. Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: It used to be that workers in the UAE stay in a job for a few years and move on to the next in pursuit of better compensation and employee benefits.

Many people believe that sticking with one organisation for too long isn’t an easy road to a higher salary. Whereas,  if they keep moving, they have better chances at scoring a better position and a bigger paycheck.

However, with the employment dynamics changing, more people are realising that job-hopping is no longer the best option. Employers, too, are also holding on to employees that really contribute to the company’s bottom line.

According to a new survey by hiring specialists Nadia, staff turnover rates at companies in the UAE have dropped recently.

In 2018, the overall attrition rate, which generally refers to the number of employees moving out of organisations over a period of time, stood at only eight per cent, down from the previous year’s 11 per cent.

“Many employers [are] starting to realise the value if building loyalty from staff due, in part to new government initiatives,” Nadia said.

“New visas for jobseekers and retirees and property ownership initiatives are encouraging residents to commit to a longer stay in Dubai, offering more permanency and stability.”

The UAE rolled out in October some changes to the visa regulations in the country, including the extension of visas for widowed and divorced women in the country, as well as foreigners on a tourist visa.

It also introduced long-term investor and retirement visas for foreigners. In particular, a multi-year visa policy was approved for entrepreneurs and specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields.


“Such changes to the visa system will add a degree of comfort and benefit the economy in the medium to long term,” Nadia said in its report released on Sunday.

“The UAE continues to attract jobseekers from locations throughout the globe. The UAE’s growing reputation as a tolerant multi-ethnic cosmopolitan location will continue to see an influx of talent at all levels and the prolonging of country residency to an average of eight to ten years by 25 to 50-year-old non-nationals, should see continued growth in both the population and economy.”

According to Ajay Malhotra, CEO of Nadia Global, the UAE is entering its “next stage of evolution in terms of attracting” investors and professionals.

“Employers are taking a longer term view on both retention of staff and remuneration policy,” he noted.

As far as salaries are concerned, Nadia predicted that employees across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region can expect an increase of between 3.5 per cent and 5 per cent. However, the inflation rate will be around four per cent.

Across different age groups, workers tend to show different priorities when shifting jobs. While older professionals lean towards salary and job security, the younger generation, particularly the millennials and Gen Z, move jobs because they seek better opportunities and personal development.