Digital Marketing Salaries in the Middle East [For Freshers & Experienced]

The growing adoption of the internet accelerated the transformation of the digital marketing industry in the Middle East, most notably with the growth of digital marketing jobs in the UAE. Advancements that may have taken four years were completed within eight to twelve months. But, as the industry continues to grow, there’s a significant gap to fill – the absence of enough digital marketers. 

What does a Digital Marketer do?

Before diving into detail about a career in digital marketing jobs in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Middle East countries, you should know what a digital marketer does. A digital marketer or digital marketing manager is responsible for growing a brand through the online medium. It includes outreach and sales generation through:

  1. Brand Website
  2. Social Media Channels
  3. Search Engine Optimization
  4. Digital Marketing or Paid Advertising
  5. Email Marketing
  6. Blogs & Web Content
  7. Data Analysis and Insight

A digital marketing manager must develop brand and content strategies to market the business and use measurable results to understand performance. They need to continuously monitor growth and suggest changes or a new direction wherever applicable. For this, they need to be agile and well-informed of the digital world and trends in marketing.

Adding Value to the Marketing Ecosystem

Move over traditional marketing. Digital marketing jobs in Dubai for freshers have quickly gained momentum worldwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Brands have realized that staying connected with their customers through personalized channels is the best way to provide value and earn revenue. Online channels help brands do just that.

Digital marketing is more cost effective when compared to conventional marketing mediums. It enables brands to keep track of daily cost and revenue, gathers insights, and helps marketers make quick decisions. Online marketing gives them the flexibility to target products and services to customers who fall within their target audience with greater accuracy.

Even small businesses can partake in digital marketing. Having a social media account is free and owing to its cost-effectiveness, brands can reach their customers with a relatively lower budget. They can create high-quality content and target a small category of customers, expanding over time. 

Close to 70% of the population in the Middle East, or 183 million, is on the internet. It is the prime time to establish brand authority on social media. Companies and marketing agencies realize the urgency and importance of digital advertising jobs in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and other Middle Eastern countries.

A Widening Skills Gap

With all of the above being said, the skills gap in the Middle East is very real. While brands and agencies are constantly looking out for digital marketing professionals, there aren’t many available to fill the job positions across the region.

According to a report by RedSeer Consulting, digital ad spends accounted for 70% of the total advertising spends in the MENA region. It is a massive shift from previous years. The report predicts that social media will account for one-third of the total ad spends in the region in 2021. Social media and online search are the channels where brands in the Middle East want to be present.

But this need for digital marketing jobs in Dubai, Manama, Kuwait City, Doha, and other major cities isn’t met yet. In a 2017 study called Future of Work, Mckinsey found that only 1.7% of the Middle East workforce has digital skills. Cut to 2020, a study by PwC revealed that 70% of leaders think the unavailability of specialist digital skills is a threat to business. And while 11 out of 15 most coveted jobs in 2020 were tech and digital-related, none of the top 10 available skills in the Middle East are tech or digital.

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Growing Opportunities in Digital Marketing

Today, there are unprecedented opportunities for you to tap into digital marketing jobs in Dubai and other major cities of the Middle East. But like you, there are thousands more looking to equip themselves with the required skills. You cannot undermine the need for quick action in 2021. With the future uncertain, digital technologies have proved to be pillars that businesses can fall back on. Your support in making that pillar stronger will propel economic growth in the Middle East.

Here’s a roadmap that will guide you on your journey to becoming a digital marketer. Listed below are four in-demand roles, digital marketing salaries in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other major MENA countries with information regarding them.

1. Social Media Specialist


  • UAE – AED 5,458
  • Bahrain – BHD 500
  • Egypt – EGP 3,880
  • Kuwait – KD 623
  • Qatar – QAR 6,043
  • Saudi Arabia – SAR 6,000

Experience: 0-3+ years

Skills: Writing, a strong command of grammar, adaptability to different writing styles, open to feedback,


  1. Maintaining brand’s online persona and tonality
  2. Creating social media content calendar, posting on all platforms
  3. Engaging with the brand’s audience, responding to comments and messages
  4. Monitoring performance and reporting
  5. Strategic planning of social media activities

2. Content Marketing Specialist


  • UAE – AED 4,500
  • Bahrain – BHD 1,370
  • Egypt – EGP 3,570
  • Kuwait – KD 560
  • Qatar – QAR 3,428
  • Saudi Arabia – SAR 4,950

Experience: 0-3+ years

Skills: Writing and communication, knowledge of social media platforms, management tools, and practices.


  1. Maintaining brand’s online persona and tonality
  2. Creating social media content calendar, posting on all platforms
  3. Engaging with the brand’s audience, responding to comments and messages
  4. Monitoring performance and reporting
  5. Strategic planning of social media activities

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3. SEO Specialist


  • UAE – AED 4,942
  • Bahrain – BHD 600
  • Egypt – EGP 4,162
  • Kuwait – KD 800
  • Qatar – QAR 8,000
  • Saudi Arabia – SAR 6,167

Experience: 0-3+ years

Skills: Experience with SEO tools and Google Analytics, strong analytical skills, basic know-how of HTML/CSS


  1. Support content teams with on-page and off-page SEO content best practices
  2. Well-versed in keyword research and framework
  3. Develop link-building strategies, execute tests and analyze results
  4. Staying on track with SEO trends.

4. Digital Marketing Specialist


  • UAE – AED 3,712
  • Bahrain – BHD 1,500
  • Egypt – EGP 4,780
  • Kuwait – KD 500
  • Qatar – QAR 4,942
  • Saudi Arabia – SAR 7,000

Experience: 0-3+ years

Skills: Experience with Facebook Ad Manager, Google Analytics, AdWords, and other tools for paid media


  1. Develop paid advertising strategies, planning and managing budgets for each channel
  2. Execute digital marketing ideas on social media, display media, email marketing, and search marketing
  3. Analyze performance and suggest strategic changes
  4. Keep track of industry trends

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Crossing the bridge to a Digital Marketing Job

For a newcomer to the field, the above information may be intimidating. But if you put in the effort, you can learn these skills quickly and thoroughly. Keeping in mind the pace at which the industry is growing, the time to take action is now. Once you’ve equipped yourself with essential digital marketing skills, there are job opportunities galore. In the coming years, the Middle East will be one of the leading regions for digital marketing and SEO jobs in the UAE and other MENA countries.

upGrad understands the gap between skills and opportunities in digital marketing in the Middle East. And to bridge the gap, we’re offering the Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication course. In association with the leading advertising institute MICA, this course has benefitted 3,000+ learners so far with support from 700+ industry experts and mentors. With this course, learners have gone on to work across industries – from finance to beauty.

Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.

So, ask yourself where does the foreseeable future take you. Would you like to float on the surface of this ocean of digitization, dreading the wave of change about to hit you? Or would you like to ride that wave confidently and cross over to the digital world?

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Is digital marketing popular in the Middle East?

With an internet population of approximately 183 million, the Middle East advertising market is undergoing a transformational change. According to statistics, Internet marketing is taking precedence over traditional forms of advertising and consists of approximately 44.2 per cent of the advertising expenditure. Experts believe that the advertising spends on digital marketing is only set to grow in the future.

Does the Middle East offer viable employment opportunities for digital marketing professionals?

According to a report by RedSeer Consulting, social media is expected to contribute to approximately one third of the ad spend in 2021. However, the Middle East is witnessing a severe shortage of qualified professionals. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, only 1.7 percent of the workforce possess the skills required to meaningfully contribute towards this sector. Companies are eager to bridge the gap between demand and supply by hiring professionals who can add value to their companies. This demand has led to the creation of multiple viable job opportunities for both freshers and experienced professionals.

How much can digital marketing professionals expect to earn in the Middle East?

1. Search Engine Optimization Expert: A SEO expert is expected to plan and execute optimization strategies to help the company’s website rank on top of the search results. The payscale of a specialist with experience between 1- 4 years is as follows:
1. UAE: AED 4,800
2. Bahrain: BHD 600
3. Egypt: EGP 4, 552
4. Kuwait: KD 850
5. Qatar: QAR 8,100
6. Saudi Arabia: SAR 6,100
2. Digital Marketing Specialist: A digital marketing specialist is responsible for planning and executing strategies on different social media channels. Post campaigns going live, the specialist is responsible for tracking campaigns and suggesting changes that can help companies achieve their goals. The payscale of a specialist with experience between 1- 4 years is as follows:
1. UAE: AED 3,800
2. Bahrain: BHD 1,600
3. Egypt: EGP 4, 152
4. Kuwait: KD 550

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