Job Satisfaction Factors in the United Arab Emirates


Job satisfaction refers to the extent to which workers feel satisfied, motivated, and content with their work It happens when workers feel that they have career development, job stability, and a good work-life balance. Having satisfied employees is vital for an organization because such employees are dedicated to delivering to the best of their abilities (Judge, Weiss, Kammeyer-Mueller, and Hulin, 2019). The importance of employee job satisfaction can be viewed from two critical perspectives: the employer and employee.

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Main body

From the employee perspective, job satisfaction results from having the assurance of stability, earning a sustainable gross salary, and assured career growth. From the employer’s perspective, job satisfaction is crucial because it motivates employees to give their best towards achieving the objectives of the organization. It also controls attrition and contributes to the growth of the company. Job satisfaction has the following positive effects:

  1. Higher efficiency in the workplace as employees are motivated.
  2. The loyalty of employees to the organization resulting in improved commitment.
  3. Efficiency and loyalty translate to higher profit margins for the organization.
  4. Improved retention of employees leading to reduced cost of training and recruitment.

Job satisfaction is directly related to employees’ psychology. Content workers are always motivated to give their best while dissatisfied workers are prone to make mistakes, are lethargic, and are a burden to the organization. The following factors play a role in determining job satisfaction:

  1. Working conditions and compensation. The benefits and compensation available to an employee play a significant role in job satisfaction. Adequate remuneration, healthcare options, and bonuses are essential considerations. A healthy working environment also improves employee morale and motivation (Raziq and Maulabakhsh, 2015).
  2. Work-life balance. Employees have job satisfaction when their employers have in place a favorable work-life balance strategy that allows employees to spend time with family and also carry out their work responsibilities without conflict (Mas-Machuca, Berbegal-Mirabent, and Alegre, 2016).
  3. Recognition and respect. Employees feel motivated when they are respected at work and rewarded for their efforts.
  4. Job security. Employees are motivated and committed to their work when they feel assured that the organization would retain them in their current roles even when faced with turbulence in the business environment (Hauff, Richter, and Tressin, 2015).
  5. Exposure to positive challenges. Job enrichment and job rotation improve the motivation of employees by eliminating monotony from work activities. It also promotes the acquisition of new skills and competencies.
  6. Career growth. Companies need to continuously groom employees for new roles and mentor them while ensuring that they climb the career ladder. Employees are more motivated when they are regularly presented with new job roles that help them grow their careers (Kong, Wang, and Fu, 2015).

Literature Review

According to Ercan (2018), both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect job satisfaction in the UAE. The study focussed on Emirati women and found that the main factors determining job satisfaction were interpersonal relations at work, job security, and job content. Contrary to expectations, promotion opportunities and pay played a minor role in determining job satisfaction. Nonetheless, the factors that determine job satisfaction elsewhere in the world are still applicable to the UAE.

The UAE has the highest number of workers that are satisfied with their work based on a survey conducted by Gallup World Poll (“UAE tops world,” 2018). The poll surveyed over one thousand individuals in each of the one hundred and twenty-eight countries that were chosen for the survey and discovered that the countries with the highest job satisfaction were the USA, UAE, and Russia. Although the UAE had the lowest percentage of individuals seeking permanent employment at 31% compared to Russia’s 51% and the USA’s 56%, fifty percent of employees rated their jobs as “good,” and twelve percent as “great” in the UAE.

According to Jabeen, Friesen, and Ghoudi (2018) in a study to assess the influence of quality of work-life experienced by women working in UAE on job satisfaction and the intention to change jobs, it was discovered to have a significant positive impact on job satisfaction and resulted in a reduction in the employee turnover. The study suggests that the public sector companies can reduce staff attrition and improve their productivity by improving the quality of work-life for women working in these organizations (Mathieu, Fabi, Lacoursière, and Raymond, 2015).


Surveying was used as the method of choice for the collection of data. One hundred individuals drawn from various sectors were selected for the survey. The chosen areas were real estate, domestic services, construction, civil service, and market research because they account for more than 90% of the employment opportunities in the UAE (Abbas, 2018).

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The individuals selected were surveyed using personal interviews and a fixed questionnaire that contained questions that would help the researchers gauge the degree of job satisfaction. Employees surveyed were asked to state the factors that they consider essential when determining job satisfaction. They were then asked to classify their satisfaction with their current jobs as “dissatisfied,” “good,” or “great.” The responses in these three categories were tallied and presented as a percentage of the total tally from all respondents.


From the responses in the survey, a pool of factors that determine job satisfaction was created. The pool was composed of compensation and benefits, work-life balance, job security, respect and recognition, career growth, and the presence of positive challenges that encouraged growth. Out of these factors, compensation and benefits ranked highest in determining job satisfaction, while respect and recognition at work ranked lowest. This indicates that for most employees working in the UAE, salaries and other benefits provided by the employer are critical considerations in determining job selection and motivation to remain in a specific job sector. High compensation and benefits were the most significant contributor to job satisfaction.

From the survey, 30% of respondents were dissatisfied with their job, 58% of respondents considered their jobs “good,” and 12% of respondents felt their careers to be “great.” The positive responses accounted for a total of 70% of the answers. This means that job satisfaction in the UAE is very high.

I work in the construction industry as a floor supervisor. I am in charge of a team of about twelve construction workers. I like my job because it pays well and provides me with significant health benefits for both myself and my family. I work from 9 am to 5 pm and my schedule is flexible enough to allow me to spend time with my family. I enjoy job security as I have worked for my company for the last seven years. The company also provides career growth opportunities. Over that period, I have been promoted thrice and recognized twice for my excellent work.

Opinion, Suggestions, and Conclusion


The United Arab Emirates is a collectivist society. This is a society that generally prioritizes the needs of communities and groups over specific individuals. As a result, there is limited quality data on various aspects of individual job satisfaction in the UAE, especially among women. Nevertheless, the survey indicates that most individuals are satisfied with their jobs and this satisfaction is chiefly driven by reasonable compensation and benefits packages offered by employers. The UAE is, therefore, in my opinion, a lucrative job market. I like my job because it meets the six criteria that define job satisfaction (Singh, Singh, and Khan, 2016).

The compensation and benefits are sustainable and above average. There is a right work-life balance and I have ample opportunities for career growth. There is job security, recognition, and respect, and I am exposed to enhancing experiences that promote growth.


The construction company needs to include measures for assessing and improving employee job satisfaction in their company policies. Having written policies that are adhered to reinforces employers’ commitment to creating job satisfaction and increases workers’ motivation to carry out their duties. The company also needs to incorporate programs that assist in strengthening relations with its employees. These programs are beneficial because they advocate for a positive team spirit, establish and maintain a culture of communication between employers and their employees and provide tools for strengthening bonds at the workplace (Alegre, Mas-Machuca, and Berbegal-Mirabent, 2016).

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These measures will ensure that the company and its employees work together towards improving themselves, implementing the factors that contribute to job satisfaction, and improve employee retention.


Job satisfaction is a crucial human resource management consideration. It is a measure of how satisfied and motivated workers are towards their jobs. Job satisfaction is essential for organizations because it enables them to create high-quality human resource pools translating to organizational efficiency and productivity.

Six key factors contribute to job satisfaction. They are working conditions and compensation, work-life balance, recognition and respect, job security, exposure to positive challenges, and career growth. A survey of employees in the UAE found out that there are very high levels of job satisfaction, with the most significant contributing factor being high compensation and excellent benefits packages.


Abbas, W. (2018). These sectors are creating most jobs in UAE. Khaleej Times. Web.

Alegre, I., Mas-Machuca, M., & Berbegal-Mirabent, J. (2016). Antecedents of employee job satisfaction: Do they matter? Journal of Business Research, 69/4: 1390-1395. Web.

Ercan, S. (2018). Emirati women’s experience of job satisfaction: Comparative effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. South African Journal of Business Management, 49/1. Web.

Hauff, S., Richter, N., & Tressin, T. (2015). Situational job characteristics and job satisfaction: The moderating role of national culture. International Business Review, 24/4: 710-723. Web.

Jabeen, F., Friesen, H., & Ghoudi, K. (2018). Quality of work life of Emirati women and its influence on job satisfaction and turnover intention. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 31/2: 352-370. Web.

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Judge, T. A., Weiss, H. M., Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., & Hulin, C. L. (2017). Job attitudes, job satisfaction, and job affect: A century of continuity and of change. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102/3: 356-374. Web.

Kong, H., Wang, S., & Fu, X. (2015). Meeting career expectation: can it enhance job satisfaction of Generation Y? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27/1: 147-168. Web.

Mas-Machuca, M., Berbegal-Mirabent, J., & Alegre, I. (2016). Work-life balance and its relationship with organizational pride and job satisfaction. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 31/2: 586-602. Web.

Mathieu, C., Fabi, B., Lacoursière, R., & Raymond, L. (2015). The role of supervisory behavior, job satisfaction and organizational commitment on employee turnover. Journal of Management & Organization, 22/1: 113-129. Web.

Raziq, A., & Maulabakhsh, R. (2015). Impact of working environment on job satisfaction. Procedia Economics and Finance, 23: 717-725. Web.

Singh, A., Singh, S., & Khan, S. (2016). Job characteristics model (JCM): Utility and impact on working professionals in the UAE. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 24/4: 692-705. Web.

UAE tops world in job satisfaction: Poll. (2018). Web.

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