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How is consulting in Dubai?

Anonymous A asked on Aug 10, 2018 - 4 answers

Hello, I know this topic has been discussed already, but I wanted to get some updated inputs.

- Is Dubai still a market recruiting a lot?

- Are the projets still mainly in KSA and about Public/Government work?

- Are you enjoying your time there? Are you able to live a good lifestyle due to the low taxes?

Thank you

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replied on Aug 23, 2018

Reflecting on my experience with Oliver Wyman Dubai (and observations of peers at competitors):

"Is Dubai still a market recruiting a lot? - Yes, some firms have more than doubled their staff headcount in the last 3 years

"Are the projets still mainly in KSA and about Public/Government work?" - Depends on the firm: for example, McKinsey, BCG and Oliver Wyman have a strong prescence in KSA and its Public Sector, whilst Bain appears to be more focused on Private Sector clients.

"Are you enjoying your time there? Are you able to live a good lifestyle due to the low taxes?" - As long as the airconditioning is working, taxes are secondary!

Feel free to get in touch privately if you have any specific questions on consulting in Dubai or the lifestyle!

replied on Aug 12, 2018
Former BCG consultant and teacher/adult trainer with experience in US, India, and Middle East
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So I worked out in Dubai for about 8 months total for BCG on cases.

1. Recruiting is still strong - they don't import as many consultants from other offices for projects, but if you are recruiting for Dubai directly, it's still a strong market

2. Yes, but less so than before - KSA govt spend has cut back as oil revenues fall. The projects have more of an urgency around them (whch is a good thing, cause in the past work could be very dull/not your typical consulting case). There is more diversifcation now around other sectors, too.

3. This is the biggest draw - the lifestyle and and low taxes. I don't people enjoy the consulting work as much as they do in the US, given the caliber of clients is typically lower, the environment is less professional, and there is less of a focus on people development/work-life balance.

replied on Aug 12, 2018
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1. Yes, Dubai is still a growing market, and all major firms have experienced tremendous growth there.

2. This varies completely by firm. For most firms, KSA is still a strong market, but I wouldn't say "mainly in KSA" is true for all firms. Some firms will have closer ties with other countries in the region. For example, from what I know, Bain has quite a lot of projects actually based in the UAE.

3. From my friends that work in Dubai, the best thing about living in Dubai is not necessarily being in Dubai. The lack of taxes and often generous flight budget for projects means that people can often choose to travel to other countries for the weekend instead of going to Dubai. However, I also know some people that hated it and couldn't stay longer than 6 months. It depends on your priorities and what you want.

replied on Aug 10, 2018
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1) Yes, but less then 5 years ago

2) yes

3) Based on my friends' experience - there can't be enough money in Dubai, simply because the spending has no limits:)