Should creatives move to Saudi?

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If your motivations are related to monetary remuneration, recruitment agency MCG Talent has released a KSA Salary Guide which highlights the monthly salaries for roles under the marketing, creative, communications and technology sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The report follows its recently released UAE Salary Guide 2023, which highlights the salary benchmarks for roles both client-side and agency-side in the UAE. 

Comparing the results of both salary guides, we found that the salary benchmarks between both countries vary across the different positions depending on the seniority of the role and the field.

The reports were reported in two different currencies, using United Arab Emirates Dirhams (AED) for the UAE guide and Saudi Riyal (SAR) for the KSA. The difference in value for both currencies is fairly minor.

Currency Conversion
AED 10,000 is equivalent to SAR 10,214, as of the date of writing.


For reference, the conversion is AED 10,000 is equivalent to SAR 10,214 approximately, as of the date of writing.

According to the results of the report, junior roles in Advertising and PR in KSA are paid lower than that in the UAE.

The pay for a junior account executive in UAE ranges from 10,000 to 13,000 Dirhams while the pay for the same role in KSA ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 Saudi Riyal.

The pay only approximately equalises at the Senior Account Manager positions with the pay in both countries starting off at AED 22,000 and SAR 23,000.

The Saudi salary benchmarks continue rising significantly over UAE benchmarks, topping out at the Managing Director level where UAE salaries start at AED 60,000 and end at AED 90,000 and KSA salaries are upwards of SAR 80,000.

Client-side salaries in KSA

KSA client-side salary figures are significantly higher than UAE, with junior-most roles starting at SAR 18,000 and ending at SAR 24,000 compared to UAE where the benchmark starts at AED 10,000 and ends at AED 18,000. The large gap in salaries narrows moving towards higher positions, but KSA still maintains its lead with higher salary benchmarks.

Creative agencies, involved in client servicing, show similar trends with junior roles being paid higher salaries in the KSA.

The starting salary of a UAE account executive starts at AED12,000 while that of a KSA account executive salaries starts at SAR15,000. The gap narrows down again with very little difference in pay for the business director and managing director positions.

The guide also covers the salary benchmarks for digital, social, performance, SEO, strategy, UX/UI, design and branding sectors on both the agency and client side and roles under PR consultancies, events, exhibitions and conferences, CRM marketing, sales and technology.

The short answer is maybe. The answer changes case-by-case and depends on the level seniority and job field.

See the full report with the salary benchmarks for all the positions for UAE here and KSA here.