Choosing between the New Offer versus the Counter Offer…

While most of our readers are expatriates looking for an entry into the Dubai job market, we also see a good number of you who are looking to change jobs from within Dubai. This article is for those of you looking to change jobs in Dubai.

In the past we have focused a good amount of writing space on industry jobs trends, interview preparations and the link, but, the journey for some do not end at a job offer. Some of us go back to our current employers to resign, only to be taken aback by a counteroffer. And we go, “What was that? I wasn’t expecting that. Now, what to do…?”

So, let us look at the Cause, Effect and Analysis to tackle your New Offer versus Counter Offer battle.


With Dubai being a land dominated by expats hoping to make a good living, higher income comes on top as one of the key factors of people wanting to change jobs.

Career Growth
However, the signs of recent times are also showing genuine ambition and career growth being reasons for shifting jobs.

With these factors leading to frustration, most employees start looking out for greener pastures. However, very few tend to discuss their frustrations with their line managers.


Poor Communication
The effect of this is that most managers realize their employees are frustrated only when they get a new offer or put up their resignation.

In addition, the recent economic recession faced by Dubai has led most managers to believe that the existing remuneration is more than sufficient and that having a job in hand is more important than a career growth.

Hence, when the employee puts in the papers, managers either realize the value or understand the frustrations and then the causes become trivial, the Counter Offer steps in at this stage as a resolution.

So, what actions should you as an employee take when you are confronted with a Counter Offer?


Loyalty and Trust
While thinking over the reasons for your employer not providing you the incentives or promotion earlier or being confused why it took a resignation threat to make them sit up and notice you, it is also important to understand that your employer will never forget that you did harbor a desire to leave.  This leaves behind a sour after-taste and the single most important factor that gets affected is trust and the single most important trait of yours that gets questioned is your loyalty.

With Dubai, being an Arab city, emotional quotients carry a lot of importance. It is important to keep in mind that this can result in the positive feel of the counter offer may only be temporary.

Criticality and Knowledge
Sometimes, the Counter Offer comes forth due to the critical nature of your project or task at hand. Hence, to ensure that there is no detrimental effect to those, your employers may place you a counter offer. You may also have a good amount of tacit knowledge built over the time about your job and also the inner functioning and culture of the organization.

Employers may find these difficult to replace in the short term and hence, try to retain you. That is, at least until they groom a suitable replacement. Having a highly transient working population and with a dynamic regulatory environment, employers can tend to play safe over being sorry.

In a nutshell, before accepting your counter offer, be prudent in your analysis of the history of your employers in such matters, the level of relationship you have with your line manager and finally, the potential of your new job offer.

Side note:  Gratuity

This is usually missed out when new offers come in. Most of us tend to get blinded by a slightly better offer under the shadow of our frustrations that we miss out on the gratuity factor.

As per UAE Labour Law, the gratuity calculations are as below:

  1. If you have given the correct notice period (usually 30 days)?
    • Employed for less than 1 year – no gratuity
    • Employed between 1-3 years – 7 days for each year of employment (1/3 of the basic pay)
    • Employed between 3-5 years – 14 days for each year of employment (2/3 of the basic pay)
    • Employed longer than 5 years – 21 days for each year up to 5 years, and 30 days for each year after 5 years (same as for limited contract holders) with a maximum limit of 2 years’ worth of salary.
  2. If no, then no gratuity entitlement unless the employer has not fulfilled their obligations according to the UAE Labour Law, or the employer has assaulted the employee (Article 121 conditions for permission to leave employment without notice). You might have to file a case with the Ministry of Labour in the UAE to claim your gratuity in this case, and they might not agree with your claim.

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