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What's the current environment in Dubai/ME? Are consulting firms still expanding in the in the region?

Anonymous A asked on Sep 30, 2019 - 2 answers

Is the hiring for post MBA positions still going strong for MBB and ATK?

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Andre
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replied on Sep 30, 2019
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Hey A,

Unfortunately, the situation in the Middle East is not that easy at the first glance. I've been transfered to Dubai office for couple of years in 2016-2018. I still have many friends there, so I know the situation within MBB, ATK, OV, RB, Strategy&, AlixPartners and other Tier1 and Tier2 pretty well.

Though the market for Saudi Arabia (70-80% of all projects depending on the company) still continues to grow, Dubai is currently in the phase of hidden recession. Company's revenues and, therefore, consulting budgets have been declining over the last 2 years, even though Dubai is preparing itself to the Expo 2020.

Several white color expats and consultants from my friends' circle have already left Dubai or are planning to do so in the coming 2 years. The Golden Rush is, unfortunately, definitely over.

MBB, ATK and Co. still continue to hire on the regular basis. However, they (a) are looking for more senior profiles (Managers - Principles/Partners) at the moment and (b) unreasonably extend their hiring processes. My mentees and friends, who recently joined these companies reported just a few weeks ago that their hiring processes have been lasting for 6-12 months.

Therefore, I don't think there will be a big intake opportunity this year. Next wave of hiring shall rather start in February - April 2020.

If you need any help or contacts in the region, let me know.

Good luck,

André

Hi Andre, regarding the elongated recruiting processes, I am currently experiencing a similar situation at ATK, being informed in late June that an interview would be scheduled with me and recently notified that interviews for juniors are starting again in January 2020, since they need more senior employees now. Could it be the case that, at the end, they reject me because they are not in need of a junior role although confirming via email that I will be interviewed? Have you heard of such a situation? — Anonymous on Sep 30, 2019 (edited)

Hi A, most probably you will get your chance for an interview next year. However, I am not sure whether you would be patient enough and find another job until then. Message me if you need any support with ATK or any other tier1or tier2 consultancy in the region ;) Best, AndrĂ© — Andre on Oct 02, 2019

Aws
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replied on Sep 30, 2019
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Hi A,

Still going on strong especially for MBB. Starting date most likely will be in 2020.

Best, Aws