UAE: A sweetspot to kick start a career in Finance?

Consider moving for your very first job:

With a USD 30,000+ difference between London and the UAE at Analyst level, such a move could make a substantial difference to your bank balance as a junior banker.

And reap the rewards by coming home!

Return to London as the remuneration curve flattens and inverts: Associate level base salaries in London overtake UAE with salaries at USD 107,000 and USD 108,000 respectively. From VP upwards, London strengthens its clear lead.

Keep a keen eye on bonuses in the coming years, as current trends are likely to change

With Bonus Caps EU legislation coming into force, we may yet see the trend invert (currently bonuses at Director level in UAE are 44% of London bonuses. As a senior banker at MD level, best to stay in your London seat: London total compensation is 67% higher than in UAE. However but the picture blurs when adjusting for tax and expat perks, the gap in real terms is narrower than shown through simple numbers.

Hard compensation numbers are one thing, but professionals should not underestimate the fluidity of recruitment in banking in UAE: if you are the right fit, you are probably in a very strong position to negotiate substantially thanks to the scarcity of candidates vs. larger financial centres such as London.

The following charts and figures were sourced from 3,632 individually validated 2014 entries input by professionals employed in Investment Banking and Markets in London and UAE countries.

UAE London 
 Base SalaryBonusBase Salary Bonus
Associate $107,000$31,000$108,000$40,000
Director $200,000$116,000$243,000$206,000



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