H1 Salary Guide UAE Banking and Financial Services 2017

Banking and Financial Services

Salary trends have remained unchanged since January 2017 in the banking and financial services space in the UAE. Candidates can expect modest salary increases in 2017 at 3-4% considering the UAE is only now recovering from the slowdown of job growth in 2015 and 2016. It is expected that the second half of 2017 will see job opportunities steadily increase compared to the previous six months. While the jobs market has improved this year it is still a long way shy of the growth and opportunities in the banking space back in 2013/2014 in the UAE. 

Hires in the industry are also looking more positive as recruitment freezes have lifted among the bigger banks in 2017, compared to 2016. Finally, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) continues to attract GCC and international financial services firm to the region as a vibrant and profitable venue to conduct business. 


The salary figures for compliance roles have increased by 4% since their initial 6% reduction in the first quarter of 2017. These increases have been in line with overall banking and financial services growth in the second half of 2017 in the UAE. 

The volume of compliance job opportunities has increased by 7% compared to the first half of 2017. Post Ramadan, growth levels are up with opportunities for Sanction Screening professionals, Private Banking Compliance professionals and the need for Heads of Compliance in the private equity space in the DIFC. 

There has been a significant shift in demand from firms outsourcing their compliance function to now hiring compliance professionals on a full-time basis. This shift has occurred due to the increased risk of money laundering in the region, thus increased the pressure that the regulator (DFSA) has placed on firms to hire full-time compliance experts. As a result, the demand for licensed money laundering reporting officers (MLROs) in the UAE has increased substantially.


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