Muscat: Few days after a survey report by a recruitment agency which forecast pay hikes in GCC states, company officials and business owners in Oman stated clearly on Tuesday that workers should not expect any hike in 2016 under current situation.
Ahmed Al Hooti, a member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), said it’s quite difficult to see salary increases in the private sector given the current financial situation.
“The private sector should not be connected to the drop in oil prices. The private sector should be separate from anything involving the oil price in the normal scenario. But as most private sector companies depend on government projects, any salary increase is almost impossible unless there are some changes in the future in oil prices. Many companies get less projects and others are affected by the financial situation of the government,” Times of Oman quoted Al Hooti saying.
Salaries in Oman were forecast to increase at an average of 4.4 per cent in 2016 while salaries across the GCC states were forecast to increase at an average of 5.2 per cent in 2016.
This is down by 0.5 per cent point when compared with last year.
According to a survey report by GulfTalent, average pay hike in Oman and across the GCC are set to be lowered in 2016 than at any time over the past 10 years.
Rising cost of living caused by cuts in government subsidies and other measures is likely to have no effect on pay hike.
The survey report said professionals in the UAE are expected to enjoy the region’s second highest salary increase at 5.3 per cent.
Qatar is next with 4.7 per cent, followed closely by Kuwait and Oman at 4.6 and 4.4 per cent respectively.
“Many professionals in 2016 are likely to face a double-whammy of rising living costs coupled with stagnant wage growth. As a result, real salary increases net of inflation are expected to be significantly lower than in previous years,” report said.
One source of comfort for residents is falling rents in parts of the region, in an otherwise inflationary market.
At least 700 employers and 25,000 professionals across the six GCC states participated in the survey.