In this guide, we’ll share the most relevant salary resources for developers in UAE. We will also provide the data regarding actionable salary ranges for every career level.
Average salary for Software Developers in UAE
Let’s start by looking at the overall average for software engineering jobs in UAE.
This data is easy to find. In fact, if you search in Google, you’ll find countless resources claiming to know the average salary of software engineers in UAE. Let’s look at some examples.
Glassdoor says the average yearly base salary of a Software Developer in UAE is AED 120K.
Payscale says the average yearly base salary of a Software Developer in UAE is AED 97K.
So, we can safely assume the average base salary of a Software Developer in UAE to be around AED 100k.
This is for all experience levels, so we can assume averages for new grads to be lower while more experienced engineers will earn a bit more.
Average Salary of Software Developers Company wise
Here we are providing the salary of software developers based on their experience and company.
Keep in mind that not all of these include bonuses and stock incentives.
We won’t provide specifics about every data point, but they should all be for software development roles or similar (e.g. backend, front-end, dev ops, iOS/Android, ML, data science etc).
We’ll provide links, so we highly recommend checking them out for more details.
Levels.fyi has tech salary data for the whole world. The amount of UAE data is limited, but it can be a great resource for big companies like Google.
It’s one of the few sites that break down compensation by base salary, stock, and bonus. It should help you get a feel for the ranges at top-paying companies in UAE.
Search for UAE (or Dubai) to filter the data. Here are some data points for UAE:
|Company||Job / Years of Experience||Salary|
|Namshi||Software Engineer with 10 years of experience||AED 325K|
|Talabat||Software Engineer with 7 years of experience||AED 422K|
|Careem||Software Engineer with 7 years of experience||AED 411K|
|Noon||API Developer with 5 years of experience||AED 359K|
|Property Finder||Web Developer with 4 years of experience||AED 264K|
|Binance||API Developer with 5 years of experience||AED 345K|
|First Abu Dhabi Bank||Full stack Developer with 10 years of experience||AED 286K|
|Quill communication||Full stack Developer with 2 years of experience||AED 72K|
Indeed is worth searching for as some of the job posts on it include salary ranges as well.
|Emirates Grand Hotel||Software Engineer||AED 165K|
|Hyatt||Software Engineer||AED 144K|
|SAMTECH MIDDLE EAST||Software Engineer||AED 72.7K|
UAE developer salary ranges by level
There are a lot of factors that affect salaries. We’ll try to cover a few of them and then give what we think is a “good” salary for each experience level.
Already being in UAE will give you a leg up because more companies will be willing to talk to you. And of course the more relevant programming experience you have the better.
A degree in a related field like Computer Science will also help.
Also, foreign companies will usually pay more than domestic companies on the whole (though there are exceptions). And while this isn’t specific to UAE, soft skills like being able to sell yourself and knowing how to negotiate your salary can also make a big difference.
Given all of the above caveats, here’s what we think software developers should aim for in terms of salary.
Salary Range: Junior Software developers in UAE
The estimated salary for a Junior Software Developer is AED 10,850 per month in the Dubai area. This includes the base pay of AED 6600 and an additional pay of AED 4250. Additional pay could include cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing.
Even 1 year of coding experience can increase your market value a lot, so we wouldn’t recommend taking a job for less than ~AED 10K per month.
Salary Range: Mid-career Software developers in UAE
Let’s define “mid-career” as 3-5 years of experience.
As an experienced developer, you can earn in the range of AED 23K per month. This includes the base pay of AED 10K and an additional pay of AED 13K. Additional pay could include cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing.
Again, outlier companies can pay more, but most positions at decent companies will pay somewhere in this range.
Salary Range: Senior Software developers in UAE
Let’s define “senior” as 6+ years of experience.
The estimated salary for a Senior Software Developer is AED 33K per month in the Dubai area. This includes the base pay of AED 16K and an additional pay of AED 17K.
But if you have exceptional tech skills, the sky’s the limit. Especially now with the rise of remote work, there are more opportunities than ever.
Salaries are trending up
It’s clear that the demand for developers has never been higher, and the gap between supply and demand is forecast to keep growing for at least the next decade or so. It stands to reason that this will continue to translate to higher salaries as companies become more and more desperate for engineering talent.
More companies are adopting modern development practices and moving away from the traditional methods of outsourcing. That means they’re hiring developers directly and building out dev teams. They’re taking software development seriously instead of trying to outsource them as cheaply as possible.
The need for skilled developers is clear, and the developer community in UAE is expanding as a result.
Do all companies pay in these ranges?
We’ll be honest with you…
No. They don’t.
In this guide, our focus is on modern companies in UAE, because those are the companies we recommend.
UAE’s tech industry is evolving, and there are still legacy companies that don’t value software. So no, some of them don’t pay nearly this well.
Our advice? avoid these companies, and focus on the resources I’ve shared in this guide.
That way, you can target the modern segment of the industry and avoid joining a company with poor work conditions. There are hundreds — if not thousands — of modern companies hiring developers in UAE. So ignore the companies giving you low-ball offers, and use the ranges I shared above as your guide.
Do your own research
Have you educated yourself about companies in UAE and followed the best practices for finding a job here and still can’t find anything but low-ball offers?
Well, then it might not be a good idea to come to UAE just yet. There are thousands of domestic companies here (many of which don’t offer an environment most foreign developers would enjoy).
So if you send enough applications you’ll probably get an offer from one if you drop your standards enough. But I’d advise joining a company under those circumstances.
Here’s a rule of thumb: if a company can’t pay at least AED 100K per year, it should be avoided.
Because as we’ve established, that’s the average salary of a Software Engineer in UAE. Go below this value and the chances of a company not respecting their engineers goes up sharply.
So do the chances of using outdated technologies, not gaining transferable skills, having to work lots of overtime and all the other negative things associated with IT in UAE.
If you want to come to UAE, no matter what and you’re willing to do what’s necessary to improve your situation once you arrive, this might be a valid stepping stone.
But we recommend that most people avoid companies that low-ball them. It’s usually better to stay in your home country and gain some more experience and try again in a year or two.
Bottom line: UAE is a valid option
It’s possible to find a high-paying job in UAE as a software developer.
It requires diligent research and you have to choose a good company that pays market rates for software developers, but it’s possible.
It may be true that not every software engineering job will be fulfilling or high-paying, but that doesn’t matter.
You only need one.
Hope you get an idea about salary ranges for software developers in UAE.