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Recent Middle East visit and why a tax free income is worth more than you think

  • By
  • Head of Construction Recruitment at Genesis Associates

During my recent visit to Doha & Dubai, in December, it was clear to see how much there is still to be done in time for the relative Expo 2020/World Cup 2022. Cranes as far as the eye can see.

On the back of a slow 2016 in the Middle East, the feeling from the market is that the time is now for both Cities with deadlines fast approaching and projects worryingly far behind schedule. If you look at the global construction market, there is nowhere in the world that has as big a demand over the next 3-5 years as these two megalopolises.

There is simply too much to do in too little time now, and with both Countries being too proud to not dazzle the world when the eye is upon them in 2020 and 2022 there is no chance that the load and the pace of construction will not ramp up once again in 2017.

Salaries have obviously dropped over the last 24 months following the crash of the oil price, flooding the market with cheap labour driving down the market rate to probably 60/70% of what is was the year prior. Unfortunately, this is the current state of the market and many of the top construction professionals are pricing themselves out of the best positions being unreactive to the market.

Although the figures are not what they were, it is worth bearing in mind that to earn those sorts of figures in the UK or any country with taxes you would probably need to be earning 4x what you probably would earn in your respective country of origin.

A recent placement of mine was earning around £60k in the UK, taking into account the taxes and mandatory outgoings in the UK he was coming out with around 11p on the £1. Jumping to the Middle East he was making just over £100k, taking home 75p on the £1 after his living costs, obviously, there are no mandatory outgoings in the Middle East. After just 12 months of Middle East experience, he was earning well over £200k. In order to earn this in the UK he would need to be earning a salary of well over £400k, a salary so far beyond his reach it isn’t even conceivable in the UK for a construction professional.

To reiterate over the next 5 years, bar areas of destruction, there is no area worldwide with a demand like Doha, Dubai (and to some extent) Saudi Arabia, with the salaries available it is situated to be the best location to earn the most with the added benefit of working on multibillion dollar iconic projects. 

4Responses to this article

  • Posted by ADIL RHAMTALLA ELBASHEIR MOHAMED, 08 February 2017 06.15GMT


  • Posted by Muhammad Akram khan, 15 April 2017 03.25GMT

    same view

  • Posted by Bhavesh , 03 September 2017 16.34GMT

    For job

  • Posted by Abdul Sattar , 14 November 2017 17.29GMT

    Agreed to some extent Mr. Liam Day for your survey report, I appreciated your efforts.

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