It’s a clear yes from me having lived and worked in the region, but I wanted to get other opinions. Last week, I visited ten top tier law firms and spoke to hiring managers and partners about why candidates should consider a move to the region and why their ex-pat lawyers and business service staff are remaining loyal to their firms and the region.
One partner commented in particular to me that he finds it easier to balance his work and family life in the Dubai region as it is so accessible. He can make it to his sons school plays etc and get back to the office in a reasonable period of time. He would not be able to do this in London.
Lets look at some other comments;
- Major global organisations are still coming into the region offering cutting edge roles and work for law firms. You will have an opportunity to work on one of a kind complex assignments. The mix of diversity and skills can be exhilarating.
- As many law firms in the region are smaller in size, both lawyers and business service staff tend to have exposure to a higher level and variety of work. You will automatically have more responsibility than your peers at home.
- Global mobility, secondments and project work are plentiful which will allow you to travel between different offices and regions. Travel to and from the Middle East is very accessible now with many regular flights available and Europe, Africa and Asia are all reachable in a few hours.
- The Middle East is a zero income tax region and for this reason alone the region is an attractive location given the fact that salaries are in line or in some cases are higher than salary scales in Ireland and the UK. Saudi Arabia is an example of a region that will pay over and above standard salaries.
- Private medical insurance is a mandatory benefit for all employers.
- If you are thinking of relocating with your family, there are amazing ex-pat communities that you can live in and schooling in Dubai is private throughout.
- With the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020, the region has been emphasizing on investments in various sectors such as economic growth, real estate, environmental avenues and public affairs.
In terms of current roles:
- Most law firms are seeking lawyers in the areas of corporate/commercial, banking & finance, capital markets, projects and construction, oil and gas, islamic finance and litigation and arbitration. We are also currently seeking a head of Jeddah in the corporate and commercial space for one of the largest firms in the region.
- Law firms recruit common law lawyers typically from regions such as Ireland, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the US.
- Within the business service functions, there are opportunities for strong HR, Marketing, BD and Finance candidates that have experience working in the top 5 firms in Ireland or magic circle firms globally. One of our clients is seeking an experienced business development manager with insurance and litigation experience and will offer an excellent salary and relocation package for the right candidate.
- As well as providing generous tax free salaries, law firms also pay bonus, medical insurance, life assurance, a flight home each year and a pension or end of service gratuity which is a one off payment you receive when you leave the firm.
As a former ex-pat that lived in the region with my family, I would recommend the Middle East as a place to work and live in. I have not even mentioned the lifestyle, malls, beaches, swimming pools, brunches etc.
I met with the Dubai Irish Network last week and one of the committee members explained that there are 8,000 Irish people working in Dubai. As an Irish candidate relocating to the region you will have an automatic network of people that you can tap into.
Thank you to all of the partners, hiring managers and IBN members that I met with last week. Tyler Weir is committed to the region and will be traveling back and forth on a regular basis. If you are a candidate in Dubai, London or Dublin and would like to hear further information regarding opportunities in the Middle East, please email firstname.lastname@example.org