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6

Consulting in Qatar vs Dubai

I'm looking to apply to post-MBA positions in the middle east and given the current geopolitical situation (Qatar blockade) I was wondering what the major differences would be between being based in Doha vs Dubai.

Would Qatar based consultant be mostly assigned to local projects with limited traveling across the region?

Thank you all!

I'm looking to apply to post-MBA positions in the middle east and given the current geopolitical situation (Qatar blockade) I was wondering what the major differences would be between being based in Doha vs Dubai.

Would Qatar based consultant be mostly assigned to local projects with limited traveling across the region?

Thank you all!

6 answers

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Best Answer

Dear A,

I’ve spent a couple of years in the Middle East (Office Dubai) on my own.

So here is my take on your questions:

  1. The main difference is that Doha is laying behind Dubai for 5-7 years and quickly catches up. It is still a “hidden champion” and not yet very well known. However, it has a huge ambition and plenty of resources from gas to put it on the map, especially through FIFA World Cup 2022. It is not yet as liberal as Dubai, but it’s completely copying its approach.
  2. Dubai is economically seen the center of the region (even if KSA is the biggest market) and most HQs are located here. Doha, by contrast, is way smaller and since the beginning of the isolation war in 2017 the economy has suffered a lot, but quickly recovered. Qatar’s consulting market would be less international (there no direct flight to other Gulf countries except Iran and Oman) and more domastic.
  3. Nevertheless, Doha is now the right place to be. While Dubai and UAE’s economy is in the hidden recession since 2018, Qatar is booming. Many companies most recently started their business in Doha and set up offices. One of the example is Roland Berger, which started their operations in spring 2019 in Doha. The year has been tremendously successful and all consultants were very quickly promoted to the next level already in December 2019. So if I were you, I would definitely go to Doha now due to even greater career prospects in the coming years!

For further information about the current market developments in the Middle East (incl. Dubai and Doha) please check my post in the other Q&A here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-are-the-consulting-career-opportunities-in-the-middle-east-dubai-qatar-and-kse-5924

Hope it helps.

Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or need help.

Best,

André

Dear A,

I’ve spent a couple of years in the Middle East (Office Dubai) on my own.

So here is my take on your questions:

  1. The main difference is that Doha is laying behind Dubai for 5-7 years and quickly catches up. It is still a “hidden champion” and not yet very well known. However, it has a huge ambition and plenty of resources from gas to put it on the map, especially through FIFA World Cup 2022. It is not yet as liberal as Dubai, but it’s completely copying its approach.
  2. Dubai is economically seen the center of the region (even if KSA is the biggest market) and most HQs are located here. Doha, by contrast, is way smaller and since the beginning of the isolation war in 2017 the economy has suffered a lot, but quickly recovered. Qatar’s consulting market would be less international (there no direct flight to other Gulf countries except Iran and Oman) and more domastic.
  3. Nevertheless, Doha is now the right place to be. While Dubai and UAE’s economy is in the hidden recession since 2018, Qatar is booming. Many companies most recently started their business in Doha and set up offices. One of the example is Roland Berger, which started their operations in spring 2019 in Doha. The year has been tremendously successful and all consultants were very quickly promoted to the next level already in December 2019. So if I were you, I would definitely go to Doha now due to even greater career prospects in the coming years!

For further information about the current market developments in the Middle East (incl. Dubai and Doha) please check my post in the other Q&A here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-are-the-consulting-career-opportunities-in-the-middle-east-dubai-qatar-and-kse-5924

Hope it helps.

Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or need help.

Best,

André

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Hi there,

Yes - all consulting companies are currently beefing up their Doha offices to cater to the local market.

MBBs are also expanding their Riyadh and Kuwait offices (to cut down on travel costs and to secure large long term gov. projects)

Feel free to do me a message for any specific questions you have in mind.

Best

Khaled

Hi there,

Yes - all consulting companies are currently beefing up their Doha offices to cater to the local market.

MBBs are also expanding their Riyadh and Kuwait offices (to cut down on travel costs and to secure large long term gov. projects)

Feel free to do me a message for any specific questions you have in mind.

Best

Khaled

Hello,

Doha will effectively serve local projects and Dubai will have a wider scope of intervention in the Middle East.

David

Hello,

Doha will effectively serve local projects and Dubai will have a wider scope of intervention in the Middle East.

David

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Hi there,

You would certianly be assigned to more local projects. Note, however, that due to the current COVID-19 situation, that's probably not must different from the other offices atm!

Hi there,

You would certianly be assigned to more local projects. Note, however, that due to the current COVID-19 situation, that's probably not must different from the other offices atm!

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Honestly, with how the situation is evolving, I doubt anyone can give you valuable insights atm.

To your question, no, Qatar consultants do travel a lot in the ME, and it depends on the engagements portfolio of the firm at that moment.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Honestly, with how the situation is evolving, I doubt anyone can give you valuable insights atm.

To your question, no, Qatar consultants do travel a lot in the ME, and it depends on the engagements portfolio of the firm at that moment.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi,

If the current situation in Qatar is like it was 2 year ago when I worked there, I assume you'd be working on mostly local projects. Back then there was a pull for consultants from different regions due to the amount of work that was happening in the country.

I'm not sure whether you'd be officially restricted to work in other ME countries, but regular travel would sure be very inconvenient: as other experts mentioned, you'd have to fly to Oman or Iran first even if you want to visit a neighbouring country.

Re Qatar vs Dubai: I agree, career prospects are probably better in Doha, but the expat community is much larger in Dubai and you are a lot more flexible to travel around the region if you are in Dubai. (To what extent C-19 changes that is another question...)

Best,

Réka

Hi,

If the current situation in Qatar is like it was 2 year ago when I worked there, I assume you'd be working on mostly local projects. Back then there was a pull for consultants from different regions due to the amount of work that was happening in the country.

I'm not sure whether you'd be officially restricted to work in other ME countries, but regular travel would sure be very inconvenient: as other experts mentioned, you'd have to fly to Oman or Iran first even if you want to visit a neighbouring country.

Re Qatar vs Dubai: I agree, career prospects are probably better in Doha, but the expat community is much larger in Dubai and you are a lot more flexible to travel around the region if you are in Dubai. (To what extent C-19 changes that is another question...)

Best,

Réka

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