Construction companies are restructuring salary packages and relocating staff within the Gulf to try to counteract the slowdown in Dubai and avoid redundancies.
In some cases, company executives have taken pay cuts of more than 30%.
The move marks a turnaround since the beginning of the year, when companies introduced twice-yearly pay rises to keep staff and boosted housing allowances.
It also brings an end to rampant poaching between firms, which fuelled salary hikes and encouraged people to switch jobs even before a project was complete.
Some management staff at Mace, a UK-based construction consultancy, had taken a salary cut, although the move was not 'blanket-wide', said Ian Tarry, the company’s regional director.