Bahrain 13th on world pay list
Manama, September 24, 2008
Managers in Bahrain have 50 per cent more spending power than their counterparts in the US, according to an international study.
However, they have less disposable cash in their pockets than people holding similar positions in the five other GCC countries, said a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Bahrain was ranked 13th out of 51 countries included in the World Pay Report, published by US-based global human resources management consulting firm Hay Group.
Qatar came in at number one, followed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, which were ranked second, third, sixth and seventh respectively.
They were well ahead of the US, which came in at 41, and the UK at 47, while Germany, South Africa and India were placed 18th, 36th and 38th respectively.
According to the report, managers working in the fast-growing economies of the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe tend to have the highest spending capacity, partly because the demand for management talent far outstrips supply.
It said this was particularly evident in Gulf countries, which are trying to diversify out of the traditional oil and gas sectors - meaning the demand for top talent in other fields continues to drive salaries up.
However, it warned the continued global economic slowdown - coupled with rising food, petrol and accommodation costs - could cause the growth of spending power to slow.
'We are not witnessing economies in the Gulf region of Middle East going through a credit crunch,' said Hay Group Middle East Reward Information Services general manager Vijay Gandhi.
'Although their disposable income has fallen over the last year, managers in most of the Gulf countries continue to be at the top of the table.
'However, even at these salary levels, it's becoming difficult for employers to recruit the right talent and retain existing top managers, who keep getting lucrative job offers within the region.'
He added there was unlikely to be any change in the high ranking of Gulf countries.
'Going forward, we are not going to witness a paradigm shift in rankings of the Gulf countries in the World Pay Report any time soon,' said Gandhi.
'Senior managers continue to get a salary increase of between 15 to 20 per cent, which is very aggressive compared to most other countries.'
Bahrain-based managers said several factors drew managers to work in the region.
Paschal Middle East general director Amir Delghandi said pay scales in Bahrain allowed them to enjoy luxuries they wouldn't have in other countries.
'I think that in general, people in Bahrain like to spend money because you see more malls and luxury shops here than you would in other countries,' he told the GDN.
'Managers here don't pay taxes and they get many luxuries they wouldn't get otherwise, like drivers to pick up their children from school and even housemaids.
'I know that in Europe, the same people would use the public transport like buses and trains, so these things encourage people to work here.
Meanwhile, Bank of Baroda chief executive Eric Tucker said that pay scales for managers in Bahrain were higher than India because the cost of living was higher.
'Salaries here are maybe two to three times more than what you would get back in India because the cost of living here is higher,' said Tucker.
'But tax here is virtually nil, as opposed to back home where you are taxed about 30 to 33 per cent.
'Not having to pay taxes here leaves expatriates with more money in their pocket.'
Meanwhile a British marketing manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said lifestyles in the region were better than ever.
'Accommodation is definitely more expensive here than back home, but it's inclusive of amenities,