Several companies in the UAE are prepared to offer bonuses in order to attract and retain talent, as stated by recruitment experts in the country. Aparna Navin from Holcim Group mentioned that employers in the country and the region are increasingly using bonuses as a crucial tool to attract talent, with statistics indicating a potential 35 per cent increase this year compared to 2022.

Emirates recently announced a substantial 20 weeks’ worth of bonus for its employees following record-breaking results, while FlyDubai also provided its workers with a bonus equivalent to 22 weeks’ worth of pay earlier in the year. Tiago Costa, CEO of Parisima Talent, noted that bonus structures of various kinds are becoming more common, extending beyond just C-Suite roles, as companies seek to retain their top talent through incentives such as career development opportunities and family support.

Despite the growing prevalence of bonuses, a recent poll by Khaleej Times revealed that a large majority of private sector employees in the UAE have not received a bonus recently and do not anticipate receiving one this year. Potential employees are known to raise the topic of bonuses as early as the second meeting during the recruitment process, with discussions often centered around how bonuses are calculated, the criteria for achieving them, and their frequency and structure.

Candidates frequently emphasize the additional benefits, particularly bonuses, they currently receive at their jobs and use these as a benchmark when evaluating new job opportunities. As per Navin, the trend of offering bonuses has expanded from C-suite executives to mid-level and junior-level positions since 2021.

Recruitment companies commonly provide commissions based on monthly or quarterly sales achievements, while traditional end-of-year bonuses tied to company earnings and signing bonuses for more complex role requirements are also prevalent. Furthermore, some companies in the UAE are rethinking their bonus structures to better align with the expectations of younger employees who value immediate and tangible rewards for their contributions.