Strategy Consulting in the Middle East

MBB Middle East
New answer on Jul 25, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 10, 2019

How does strategy consulting in the Middle East differ from strategy consulting in mature and frontier markets (in terms of nature and quality of work experience)?

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Antonello
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replied on Nov 11, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
engagements are more strategic than in mature markets, where instead many projects are on cost efficiency, operations, and implementation. Hour of work similar, salary bigger.

Best,
Antonello

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Deniz
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replied on Nov 12, 2019
BCG | A.T. Kearney | University of Cambridge | 350+ coachees | 5+ years of consulting experience in London, Dubai and Istanbul

Hi,

Having worked in BCG Dubai, I can summarize the differences as follows:

  • Strategic level of projects: More implementation-oriented projects with 10+ consultants
  • Duration of projects: Projects that can go up to 2-3 years (and you may be staffed for a year in the same project)
  • Sector: Larger share of public sector projects, which involve frequent traveling to key countries e.g. KSA, Qatar, Egypt etc.

All in all, ME offers a great opportunity for you to learn and practice consulting in top tier clients, however, the downside is that you may find yourself working on public sector projects too much which may limit your exposure to the private sector, and thus may limit your exit opportunities.

Best,

Deniz

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Vlad
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replied on Nov 11, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

  • Work is more intense in developing countries
  • ME has a lot of Public Sector, Metals & Mining
  • Quality is similar to other countries
  • Projects may be more exciting since you are working directly with the top management.

Best

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Anonymous replied on Jul 25, 2020

Dear A,

I would say that nature of projects in the Middle East is more interesting than in the other parts of the world, because there are lot of strategy projects where you would be able to develop new things. Since there is ofthen the case that no pre-data or no-market is valuable before you would be able to work on new concepts and create smth new completelt from the scratch using "green field" approach which I find really cool. However, on the other hand, if you develop new things they cannot be perfect from the first side. Therefor the quality of work and the requirements are considerably lower than on the established markets in Europe or in the US. So sometimes you might face an obstacle during the exit options that your experience in the Middle East is not transferable to Europe or US, because these markets have already very developed environment and don't need basic skills which you have developed in the ME.

Nevertheless, it's a very interesting and very stip learning curve, I have spent 4 years in Europe and then 2 years in the Middle Eats, so I can compare two markets pretty well. If you need further insights, drop me a line and I'm happy to share my experience with you and give you some advices.

Best,
André

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Lilly Willams replied on Nov 11, 2019
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Federico
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updated an answer on Nov 10, 2019
Former Bain (4+ years, UK & Italy) | Ardian (France) | Specialized in Case Structuring, Case Cracking and Non-verbal Comm.

Based on the feedback I've collected from colleagues and friends who have worked there, this is what I can tell you:

  • On average, working hours are as much intense as in mature / frontier markets
  • Middle East projects mainly focus on "heavy industries" such as Industrial Goods, Utilities, Oil & Gas and Public Administration
  • From a compensation perspective, it is much more convenient to join the local office (e.g. in Dubai) rather than live in Europe and work on a project over there (compensation can be significantly different)

Hope this helps!

Good luck with your preparation

Federico

(edited)

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Antonello gave the best answer

Antonello

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McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews
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