Salaries in the oil and gas sector soared across the Middle East last year, with Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates recording some of the largest increases globally, according to an annual survey.
Kuwait topped the pay scale among Gulf Cooperation Countries, paying locally employed workers an average US$114,400 per year, although overseas workers received only US$79,700, the Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide 2013, published by UK-based Hays recruitment company, found.
Bahrain paid the most among overseas workers employed in the GCC, with an average US$92,200, up a whopping US$14,300, or 18.35 percent. No local salaries were recorded.
Saudi Arabia also saw overseas workers’ salaries significantly rise, reaching an average US$81,000, up from US$67,100. At the same time, locals’ salaries declined 15 percent to US$86,500.
Oman paid overseas workers about US$12,000 more per year, taking salaries to US$92,100, while locals were paid an average US$72,600, up US$4600.
UAE, which has only overseas workers in the sector, saw salaries rise US$10,000 to US$79,400.
Qatar, which also has no local workers in the sector, paid 13 percent more, at US$77,900.
Iraq pays the most among all Middle East and North African countries – US$124,500 per year for overseas workers. Locals receive only an average US$47,200 per year.
Political turmoil affected Iran and Egypt, where salaries for non-nationals plummeted US$25,000 and US$14,000, respectively.
Globally, salaries in the sector rose an average 8.5 percent to US$87,300, on the back of a 6 percent increase in 2011, according to more than 25,000 employees in 53 countries who responded to the survey.
“There would be few industries with such a track record of growth over the last few years in what has been, in the most part, an uncertain economic environment,” the report says.
“Overall, we have seen the recruitment industry working well to iron out the extreme variations in pay, with those at the top of the table seeing salaries plateau or in some cases ease slightly.