A recent survey has found that many employees in Qatar feel financially insecure, dissatisfied with their jobs and are considering moving abroad to find work elsewhere.
The results of the latest Career Aspirations in Middle East and North Africa online study, conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov, show that Qatar workers’ wanderlust reflects a similar sentiment across the MENA region.
Overall, 73 percent of all respondents said they would consider relocating internationally to find better employment. The poll included responses from some 8,963 residents in a dozen countries, suggesting that the local findings represent a small proportion of Qatar’s population.
The large number of respondents who say they would consider employment in another country could be driven in part by the significant population of expats working in the Gulf, many of whom are on fixed contracts or only plan to live abroad for a relatively short period.
The UAE is the favored destination for those currently working in Qatar, at 39 percent.
Notably, while many residents based here are looking at employment opportunities outside the country, Qatar is perceived to be an attractive location for those currently working elsewhere in the region.
Across the region, Qatar comes out as the joint-second choice of place to work, along with Saudi Arabia, for 13 percent of those surveyed.
The findings paint a complex picture of working life in Qatar. While the country’s multiple infrastructure projects make it an attractive destination for many of those working outside the state, some of the figures reflect a concern by current residents about rising costs.
Only one-third of Qatar respondents said they were happy with their work environment, making Qatar workers among the least-satisfied in the GCC, after Bahrain where just 24 percent expressed their satisfaction.
While a sizable percentage of people polled (32 percent) were indifferent to their working situation, Qatar also had the highest proportion of those who were very or somewhat unhappy with their job, at 34 percent. Employees in Saudi followed just behind, with 32 percent dissatisfaction.
In comparison, employees in Oman appear to be most content in their jobs in the Gulf (41 percent).
Asked about their top problems, financial issues came out first in Qatar for more than half of all respondents (53 percent). Other concerns included:
- Career path uncertainty (38 percent);
- Concern about work/life balance (31 percent); and
- Worry about employment/loss of job (24 percent).
Less than half (47 percent) of those quizzed said they had their perfect job in Qatar, while only just over half (58 percent) of Qatar employees said they were motivated at work.
Reflecting the desire to shore up their financial stability, a higher salary and better perks were the reasons most workers said would improve their drive and dedication at their job (60 percent).
Of those looking to move jobs, salary and benefits were the single biggest issue in choosing a job (84 percent), compared to job security, which was the key attraction for only just over a quarter of prospective job hunters in Qatar.
With the cost of living on the rise in Qatar, particularly in the past year, many employees have said they are feeling the pinch.
One-fifth of people polled in Qatar said they don’t save any of their pay, while 41 percent save less than 10 percent of their annual salary.
However, Qatar workers seem to be better off than their colleagues around the region. Some 29 percent of Bahrain employees save nothing, while in Jordan almost half (48 percent) of the working respondents said they didn’t save a dinar.
Workers in Oman are among the region’s most thrifty, with 10 percent claiming to be able to save more than half of their salary, compared to 7 percent in Qatar.
Commenting on the figures, Suhail Masri, VP of Sales at Bayt.com, said in a statement:
“Different projects around the Middle East region are generating more opportunities, especially in the GCC. These projects are however, driving up costs, making respondents more anxious about savings and salaries.
Employers must take this into consideration going forward, both with current employees and future hires.”
The survey also noted that Qatar workers strongly prefer to be employed by a company rather than striking out on their own, perhaps reflecting the quest for financial security.
More than half (52 percent) said they would rather be an employee than an entrepreneur, which is the highest figure across the MENA region, while less than a third (30 percent) said they wanted to start their own business.
Workers in Bahrain and Saudi appear to have a more entrepreneurial spirit, polling 46 and 44 percent respectively in favor of working for themselves.
Unsurprisingly, construction (29 percent) was the sector representing most of Qatar’s survey respondents , followed by tourism and hospitality (8 percent), then oil and gas (7 percent).
However, despite the ongoing construction boom, only 15 percent cited construction as the sector they would like to work in, while oil & gas was the desired field for 14 percent of workers.
Aside from financial concerns, the majority of Qatar’s workers (83 percent) said they were positive about the coming year.
The online survey was conducted from 3 until 10 December 2014, with 8,963 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
I can understand why the stats are like this, although the sample pool is relatively small, the data can be extrapolated almost seamlessly.
With that being said, expats come here with a clear intention of leaving. From outside Qatar, the salaries and perks look incredibly sweet, as the cost of living does not become apparent, and from what I understand, is still unclear for the locals and long-term residents alike. It fluctuates a lot, well, it has an upward curve.
So expats who have the weird voice in their heads constantly telling them this is a place to be left soon, are more encouraged to save more for the greener days of future in some other country(ies0, but the increasing cost of living + a lack of entertainment make the work experience a bit tasteless. People are leaving a big portion of their money on Qatari soil. Spending has its own satisfaction, but people don’t get it here, as Qatar doesn’t produce anything or have any own $hit to sell, the money is spent on imported goods, more often than not, goods that are produced in the expats home country. I might add, buying gas here is a joy, WOQOD FTW 🙂
What I have found so far, Job in Qatar is awesome as long as the pay is good (20k/month), housing is provided, healthcare(I don’t care, but its nice to have), and a lots of company freebies, whether its a t-shirt, or a laser pointer or a bad-a$$ gaming laptop. Its nice to get the latest Alienware gaming system from your employer.
So all I am saying to the employers, however harsh, frugal, merciless, a-holes or corrupt you are, give some gifts to your employees once in a while. Nah, don’t give them a smile, your smile is not a gift, morons, Gifts, material objects, go a long way!
Spot on. I would just like to add that the companies that recruit by not giving the full picture of cost of living are not doing themselves any favor. They just end up paying for it with the employee attrition rates.
Haven’t read such comprehensive and wise stuff in a while.
Money worries only for Qatar Employees? Meh, sensationalist title as usual.
That’s nothing new,
It’s not misleading though
It’s only human to think the grass is greener on the other side. Well, according to this survey, it is! Last one out, please turn off the lights!
If they did this survey now they would be worried about keeping their jobs. With Qatar’s income from O&G taking a kicking it’s not just the hydrocarbon sector cutting back, nearly all government funding companies are looking to cut staff. That will obviously hit the private sector as well. Hopefully a lot of those overpaid western expats at QF will go, who don’t do a lot…..
On the plus side the traffic should start to ease up in three months
What kind of people at QF are you referring to? The teachers? The profs? who?
See A Qtr answer above
University teachers, directors, senior managers, etc. Every position that pays over 40k a month needs to be investigated and only the most useful people should be kept and the others sent back home.
I think QF should pay even more for the professionals that manage the building procurement process in the hope of getting some that know what they’re doing because I have never encountered such chaotic mismanagement and wastage of funds in my entire professional career.
Qatar Foundation is probably best thing this country has developed with its wealth.
It has a global presence that aids not only Qataris through its educational endeavors, but it also helps countless impoverished women and children throughout Asia via its charitable endeavors.
Yeah i agree, Qatar Foundation is doing something forward thinking and right,
Something we need more of in Qatar ..
what does he mean that they “don’t do a lot”… what should they be doing?
I agree QF is all about glitz and glamour … For the budget they have you’d expect more…. It’s become more focused on fancy buildings and half a dozen initiatives which no one knows the extent of their benefit
First should get axed are the PR type social media experts who carry no real value or talent
I’m glad some one understands. QF has been a sink hole for money for years. A bit more efficiency would be good.
However as some people have pointed out above it does have some good initiatives
The reality of what is about to happen in Qatar over the next few months as a consequence of the depressed oil price hasn’t sunk in for a lot of people in Qatar and the GCC just yet.
On the upside it’s about to get easier to find a place in a school for your children.
not if we’re the ones that are axed?
Less traffic too
Once again ‘Qatar labor law revision’ is in limelight. Kudos to DN.
Can I ask something? I hope no one takes it the wrong way, but are DN journalists getting paid or is it like volunteer work? I’m genuinely interested as it would answer some of my queries. Thanks
Well they should be, they have ads on their site and with the number of site views, they should have found an effective way to monetize that
I would like to know that as well. I went to DN “about us” page to know about their funding, their Qatari partner and whether their employees are payed or not but alas there weren’t such information. I believe it’s wrong for a media company not to disclose such information.
It’s really not the point,
Who visits a news site and checks if the journalists get paid or not.
Their self funded
Maybe their funded by IS or the Israelis…
Another Zionist rag
Yes, we are mostly paid. Not much, but journalists aren’t usually in this profession for money.
I think we expats from countries that offer a pension and medical aid on retirement, forget how much we have to earn and invest to get just that when we do retire back in our own country! So one comes thinking the salary is great-but if one does not put aside a healthy amt and invest,not save, it, one might very well go home worse off.
“[T]he desire to shore up their financial stability, a higher salary and better perks”?! How about getting out of debt!! heh
shaka tak poora belaogoni
One also needs to take into account that some people (expats and locals) in Qatar spend beyond their means because they feel the need to impress or keep up with society. You don’t see that much in Oman (if at all).
So when are they going to make the announcement on the Kafala changes? I have to say the kafala system is one major thing that contributes to the sadness of the expatriates in Qatar. The cost of living is high – cost doesn’t meet salary, small country and also conservative so there isn’t much to do and with the little left to do, you are still somewhat restricted, whether in the way you have to dress up (as a woman) or act, a lot of employers and also employees (seniors who have been in the company for years) tend to have a strange bullying mindset knowing with the kafala system, one doesn’t really have a lot of options to go to. It’s hard to save money, low salary high cost of living, stressful work environment – poor work ethics, lack (if not the total absence) of work life balance (and I have seen a lot of people being miserable because of this), think about it – is it is really worth to be in Qatar?
They have announced the Kafala changes. They just won’t ever get round to implementing any meaningful ones – especially as it’s been announced that Qatar has the highest building costs in MENA
An interesting report should be read along with this..!
New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1%
Frankly the survey is a mish-mash of data and without knowing the demographics of those surveyed it’s unfathomable. Among construction professionals it’s fair to say that dissatisfaction is endemic. Those working in consultancies on government projects are hamstrung by Client restrictions which often see them reduced to the role of clerks, fighting through appallingly drafted building contracts and cumbersome work practices on that add little value to the often massively delayed end product, not to mention being at the mercy of the draconian Clients Representative whose only aim in life seems to be find reasons to not pay the contractor. Professionals working for Contractors are often further down that unwieldy food chain and further demotivated by employers who don’t actually understand their true role in the construction process and capabilities to add value – not to mention sacking them if they get out of bed the wrong side in the morning. You work in Qatar with gritted teeth to earn money – motivation isn’t high on any employers agenda.
“The survey also noted that Qatar workers strongly prefer to be employed by a company rather than striking out on their own, perhaps reflecting the quest for financial security.”
This also perhaps reflects how much easier it is to set up a business elsewhere, and the temporary/fickle feel to Qatar’s legislature and labour market. We used to snigger at “Business friendly Bahrain”, but I’d like to apologise to them since it was really.