Medical Jobs in the Arabian Gulf - Salaries
Doctors' salaries in the UAE and Saudi Arabia
The remuneration structure of the doctors' employment packages in the Gulf States of the Middle East has been fairly standard for many years typically comprising a basic salary on which all the other benefits are based and in particular the End of Service Award granted at the final end of the employment contract. The other benefits have usually covered accommodation, flights, children's education and medical care.
However, the last 6 months have seen the first major changes in remuneration structure in medical pay. The basic salaries have been slashed to the bone with major Government and private employers reducing these to AED / SAR 30-42K per month. This impacts the End of Service Award which is proportionately reduced by as much as 50%. This is a benefit for the employers as their long term liabilities are reduced but it means that there is less incentive for employees to stay for long in any one job. The monthly basic salary is supplemented by various allowances vicariously named with esoteric terms such as "rare speciality allowance" and "speciality allowance" to name just two. However the specialities of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Paediatrics are not getting these awards and have consequently seen their salaries fall or even half. The high numbers of physicians in the Gulf in these specialities have made their recruitment easy and so paying high salaries has not been seen as necessary.
Surgeons are being awarded an extra "surgeons' award" in some hospitals bringing the monthly income up especially when combined with a rare specialty award. But in other hospitals this allowance is being overlooked. In general salaries are less generous than a year ago.
Whilst falling incomes are a problem, another factor is the rapidly rising cost of living. Prices in the retail malls for European goods are typically 30% higher than their European levels. School fees are rising and especially those of the international schools. The SEHA hospitals of Abu Dhabi have abolished the education allowance and this has been replaced by a supplementary allowance which can be spent at the doctor's discretion. This can be used for education or any other expense.
Whilst still relatively competitive the high packages of earlier days have gone and the new reality is slightly trimmed packages, varied by speciality, with a smaller lump sum payment at the end.