KSA: highest salaries for expats globally

Expat middle managers in Saudi Arabia are making around $109,000 annually
KSA: highest salaries for expats globally
Statistics on an international workforce

A recent survey conducted by the consultancy firm ECA International has determined that the highest salaries for expatriates are in fact in the Middle East. Topping the list with the highest salary in the world for expats is Saudi Arabia, despite a 3 percent decrease in salaries from last year. 


According to the report, expat middle managers in Saudi Arabia are making around $109,000 annually. The expat survey takes into account benefit allowances, cash salary, and tax treatment. Expat packages make relocating to the Middle East a smooth transition. Further, lower costs mean that expats are able to organize their finances according to their personal needs and wants. 

Oliver Browne, the Remuneration and Policy Surveys Manager at ECA International stated, “While they may not top the overall rankings, expatriate salaries in the Middle East tend to be incredibly generous as a way of encouraging people to relocate there, with the highest salaries being in Saudi Arabia. However, the cost of benefits ranks lower, and combined with the lack of personal tax, overall package costs are more affordable. This is in contrast to the UK, where the bulk of the package cost is due to tax and benefits rather than salary.”

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Following the KSA is Switzerland, which offers the highest salaries in Europe, and the second highest globally. Comparatively, it is cheaper for workers to relocate to Switzerland as opposed to the UK. Browne notes, “Despite the higher prices, high salaries in the country mean locals are still well-off compared to their European counterparts. Furthermore, due to low taxes and businesses needing to pay less for employee benefits, it is still comparatively cheaper to relocate workers to Switzerland compared to the UK.”

The UK topped the ranks for the most expensive country in the world for expat employees to relocate to. UK salaries rose about 5 percent from last year, however, the cost of expat packages rose 11 percent. This is due to the fact that the majority of the package is attributed to taxes and benefits. Further, the price of rent in the UK has risen. The average salary for a middle management position in the UK is around $82,000 annually. 

Japan, India, and China came in second, third, and fourth, respectively. 

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