March 19, 2014

United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Nearly a quarter of all companies in Dubai aim to raise their schooling allowance for employees in the coming year, with one in five of those in Abu Dhabi intending to do the same, according to a survey conducted by global human resources consultancy, Mercer. The findings come from the organisation’s ‘Spot Survey on Housing and Schooling Allowances Increases in UAE,’ which it has just published and which revealed the employee benefit intentions for the next 12 months for companies operating in the two emirates.

Mercer polled 147 organisations to establish their remuneration aims for 2014, with the responses received indicating that 24 per cent of companies in Dubai were considering raising the schooling allowance for their employees this year, with 19 per cent of companies in Abu Dhabi reporting the same aim. However, further polling in the survey revealed that only 61 per cent of Dubai companies intended any increase to be for all employees, whereas 85 per cent of organisations in the capital replied that rises would be across the board.

“In light of the continued improving economic conditions across the UAE and the revitalising of the region’s housing market, we aimed to establish how employees were likely to fair with regards to aspects of their remuneration,” said Nuno Gomes, Information Solutions Business Leader Middle East, Mercer. “Our Spot Survey on Housing and Schooling Allowances Increases in UAE revealed that there was a greater percentage of organisations in Dubai than Abu Dhabi who claimed to be considering school allowance increases. However, those companies in the capital that were considering rises were applying them to more categories of workers,” he added. 

The Mercer survey also revealed the schooling allowance raises made in 2013 by the organisations taking part, with 13 per cent of the Dubai companies giving increases compared to a figure of almost half that – seven per cent - from those in Abu Dhabi.  Although the number of companies giving increases in 2013 is considerably less than those looking to increase in 2014, the average increase was higher last year. On average, in 2013 increases were 15 and 16 per cent in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, whereas in 2014 forecasted increases are 12 per cent in Dubai and 10 per cent in Abu Dhabi.

The Spot Survey on Housing and Schooling Allowances Increases in UAE polled organisations across the industry sectors. The largest single category participating was High-Tech (17 per cent), followed by Energy (16 per cent), services (15 per cent), Consumer Goods (11 per cent), Financial Services (nine per cent), Life Sciences (seven per cent) and Durable (two per cent). The Other categories made up 23 per cent.

“Our Spot Survey on Housing and Schooling Allowances Increases in UAE suggests that there are a significant number of companies from across the industry sectors who are considering raising the level of their schooling allowance for employees over the forthcoming 12 months,” said Gomes. “What has come through from the poll is that if you are an employee in Abu Dhabi, you are less likely to be working for an organisation that is considering such a rise. However, if your company in Abu Dhabi is one that is considering a rise, you are more likely to benefit than an employee in Dubai whose organisation is also considering a rise” he added.



About Mercer:
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer works with clients to solve their most complex benefit and human capital issues by designing, implementing and administering health, retirement and other benefit programs. Mercer’s investment services include investment consulting, implemented consulting and multi-manager investment management. Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. In the Middle East, Mercer has offices in Dubai and Riyadh. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., which lists its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) on the New York and Chicago stock exchanges. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerInsights.