The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide for Advisory represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the UAE for 2020.
The UAE advisory sector, which includes audit, risk consulting, deal advisory and transaction services, strategy and management consulting, is expected to no movement in salary grades over 2020.
However, sign-on and guaranteed bonuses are expected to become more prevalent in 2020 as firms ramp up incentives to secure the best talent. Market competition is intensifying on the back of Abu Dhabi’s economic Vision 2030 and other state-led initiatives to lift the economy, and businesses seek top-tier talent to stay ahead of the game.
Across the country, higher oil prices and a 2.5% annual projected uplift in GDP growth has resulted in positive business sentiment and increased government spending, creating an environment for a stable recruitment activity, our experts say.
However, the flat retail and consumer conditions witnessed in 2019 are set to persist this year, while the continued growth of boutique advisory firms in the UAE poses a continued competitive challenge to large, global companies such as the ‘Big Four’ professional service firms.
The UAE capital Abu Dhabi has seen a marked increase in hiring within the advisory sector as government departments activate new engagements with consulting firms across various service lines including capital projects, risk consulting, due diligence and external audit in line with economic development objectives. Still, Dubai continues to be the primary location for the majority of hiring within advisory firms, due to it being a major regional hub for international deal making.
Candidates in this sector are interested in changing jobs mainly to develop their technical skills, progress their careers and gain exposure to a more varied client base. Firms are encouraged to offer positive mentoring schemes and flexible working environments in order to attract new recruits.
As competition is fierce within this sector, UAE firms should also seek to diversify the talent pool by being open to interviewing candidates from outside the GCC and other traditional developed economies, for instance, they could consider Eastern Europe, South Africa and Asia-Pacific. Capital projects firms, in particular, are starting to widen their horizons, although UAE-based sourcing is still the priority for most firms, our experts say.
Download the full Advisory Salary Guide 2020 here
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