Most businesses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are expected to recruit new staff and grant salary increases or bonuses this year, according to a new study.

Around 70.1% of GCC companies expect employee growth rate to increase, while 83.3% are planning to release salary increments or bonuses in 2024, HR consultancy firm PROCAPITA reported on Wednesday.

The annual report, which covers recruitment and manpower planning, talent management, compensation benefits and board remunerations within organisations across the GCC, is based on the feedback gathered from more than 1,200 companies from various sectors in the region.

The report noted that among the businesses surveyed, those in Saudi Arabia appeared to be the most upbeat about staff hiring this year, as the kingdom implements various projects under Vision 2030.

“The outlook for the GCC is promising, as organisations anticipate favourable advancements that will lead to economic growth and progress,” said the report.


Last year, around 66.7% of companies expanded their payroll, with Saudi Arabia posting the highest employee growth rate on the back of various labour reforms, private sector investment and entrepreneurship initiatives, the report said.

However, Qatar posted a low employee growth rate last year, as demand for talent slowed after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Increments and bonuses

Among businesses that intend to provide financial incentives to staff, nearly half (47.6%) plan to grant both wage increases and bonuses this year. A small number (16.7%) have no plans to provide any increase or bonus.

Most organisations (77.6%) issued increments in 2023. Wage increases in nearly half of businesses (47.6%) were performance-related, while 32.1% provided fixed-rate increases.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)