United Arab Emirates PMP Certified Project Managers get the highest pay in the region

16 Jul United Arab Emirates PMP Certified Project Managers get the highest pay in the region

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PMI Global Survey Reveals PMP®-Certified Project Managers Earn 20 Percent More In Salary than Uncertified Practitioners: 9th edition of the survey


Knowing the value of project management certifications, experience and skills can be a great advantage for organizations seeking to fill project management roles, as well as for individuals competing to qualify for those roles.

This comprehensive Article  has been created from an industry-leading source of data, helping employers to better determine salary ranges, and giving project management practitioners a greater awareness of their earning potential.

With information from more than 26,000 respondents in 34 countries, and salary data reported in local currency, this ninth edition of the survey, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, is a significant resource for project management practitioners and their employers, as well as compensation committees, human resource departments and executive recruiters.

Survey Highlights

  • Certifications such as PMI’s globally-recognized Project Management Professional (PMP)® provide a significant advantage when it comes to salary and earning potential.
  • Among survey respondents, those with a PMP certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP certification.
  • The median annual salary, across all countries, roles and experience levels, is $81,000 (USD).
  • Twenty-seven percent of participants reported salary increases of at least 5% in the year before they completed the survey.
  • Number of years of project management experience continues to have an impressive impact on salaries across the globe—in Singapore, for example, the median salary ranges from $47,657 (USD) for those just starting out in the project management field to $131,972 (USD) for those who have been in the field for 20 years or more. This represents an increase of 177% from low to high experience in the field.


That’s right! Based on the 8th edition of the PMI® Salary Survey 2013 (www.pmi.org) the United Arab Emirates ranks top of the countries in the region when it comes to how much their project managers are getting paid annually.

The median salary for a project manager in the UAE is $86,736 per year. That’s around $7230 per month and equivalent to AED 26,000, based on a self-reported salary information from 36,000 project manager practitioners in 33 countries.

The report puts Qatar second and Saudi Arabia a distant third. The median salary for a project manager in the Qatar is $82,476 per year while in Saudi Arabia is $69,339.

The report also shows that 71% of participants report that their total compensation (including Salary, bonus and other form of compensation) increased over the past 12 months.

However, when we compare the median salaries in GCC with the countries on top of the charts, they are still low. For example, project managers in Australia make $134,658 per year while in Switzerland is $133,605. that’s almost 60% more than what project managers are doing in UAE and Qatar, and almost double what they make in KSA.

We also see that the mentioned countries (UAE, Qatar, KSA) are ahead in the survey over France, Japan, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Nigeria, and many other. That’s Impressive, knowing the economies in the above mentioned countries.

The detailed survey also compared the number of years experience, and highlights in UAE, that a less than 3 year project manager earns $65,000 while a 20+ year project manager earns $130,000, that’s a 100% increase. while the rate is 90% in Qatar and 111% in Saudi Arabia.

We also see a difference in salary if the individual has PMP certificate or not. Project managers having PMP certificate, reported earning $2700 more in a year that non-PMP certified project managers in UAE. While the amount is $8000 per year more for PMP Project Managers in Qatar, and $14000 per year more in Saudi Arabia.

The above shows the Importance of the PMP® certification and the return of this certification on the annual salary. The PMP certification will cost a project manager an investment of around $2000( $1000 for attending a PMP® certified course, $550 for doing the PMP® exam, and an additional $450 for materials, books, sample exams, etc…) , but the returns outweighs the investment. For more information about the PMP certification.

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