Increase in Middle East Expatriate Population Fuels Growth in Western-Style Pay and Benefits

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<p><strong>New York and Dubai &mdash; April 21</strong><br />Western-style pay and benefit practices are on the increase in the Middle East, according to a regional survey of current practices and plans within multinational companies, recently conducted by Mercer. </p><p>The survey showed the traditional focus on high basic salaries and cash allowances is shifting toward long-term incentives and "protection" benefits such as pensions and medical, life and disability insurance. Additionally, lifestyle benefits such as company-car allowances and leave entitlements are increasingly important, while allowances for housing, transport and education remain popular.<br /><br />The changes in benefit practices are being driven by the continuing increase in multinational companies based in the region, an expansion of the expatriate workforce (some 85 percent of Dubai&#39;s population is now expatriate) and greater mobility of expatriates between jobs. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), changes in legislation have also strongly contributed to the trend.<br /></p>

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