Dubai: It’s a good time to be a tech professional in the UAE, with latest data suggesting software engineers in Dubai earn the ‘third highest salaries in the world’ when compared global tech hubs such as London, Berlin and Amsterdam. These professionals - with a minimum three years’ experience – take home 30 per cent more than peers elsewhere, according to the consultancy Mercer.
With the recent changes to visa requirements and with the emphasis placed on attracting global talent, the tech space – whether that’s cloud computing, data centers, fintech – is roping in newcomers to the country and city.
It helps that the ‘cost of living in Dubai remains considerably lower than most tech-hubs, including London (7th), Singapore (8th), New York (11th), San Francisco (19th), and Amsterdam (25th)’, according to Mercer.
Keeping cost of living in check
Dubai’s current positioning as a more affordable city to work in are two-fold, the Mercer survey notes. “Given the rise of remote and flexible work globally, almost 60 per cent of UAE employers offer flexible working which reduces employees’ transportation costs significantly,” the report adds. “For employees that do travel to work, purchasing a car as well as fuel costs on average remain the lowest in Dubai when compared to other tech hubs like London, New York, and Berlin.”
Plus, there is the cost of rental, which despite recent increases still compare favourably with other global cities that tech talent tend to congregate in. Comparable accommodation costs double in London and New York, and 50 per cent more in Singapore the survey says. “The cost of public transportation is also lower in Dubai as compared to London and New York, which are markedly higher than Dubai at 152 per cent and 67 per cent more expensive.”
Vladimir Vrzhovski, Workforce Mobility Leader at Mercer Middle East, said: “The demand for tech talent, in particular, will continue to grow in the UAE given the nation’s drive to be a global capital of the digital economy. Above all, a key incentive for tech talent is the opportunity for a significant uplift in salary when compared to other tech hubs, where the cost of living is higher in terms of transportation and housing.
“While inflation and rising fuel costs are a pressure on cost of living around the globe, Dubai is building a nurturing and highly competitive tech-ecosystem that pays highly competitive salaries - creating an environment that promises to attract and retain the best talent globally.”