Strat Consulting life in Dubai

Hi Monkeys,

Any stories, reviews, experiences working in the ME? Would be cool to hear from you as I am planning to make a move and have heard about some exciting projects out there (and better quality of life)!




Hey, I think these are pretty easily Googleable. Dubai is 80-90% expat, mostly from Western countries (Continental Europe and UK) and the MBB offices are English speaking. 


Dubai office is fully English speaking. Arabic speaking is an Asset but no way a requirement. I am not an Arabic speaker either. I'd say 99% of projects are in English with some Saudi ministry projects preferring to work in Arabic. A lot of people from UK/US backgrounds. Usually UK backgrounds are Junior Associates/Associates who have done their undergrad or master's in UK. US backgrounds are Junior Associates or Consultant who have done their undergrad or MBA in US. Easiest way to break in would be to reach out to people who are coming from your path (that is what I had done). People were surprisingly kind with my coffee chat hit rate greater than 80%...


hiheda - could I ask you on how you've found this experience so far both professionally and also personally living in the ME? Does working out there pigeon hole you at all when it comes to consulting experience and trying to move back to the West? Is quality of life better there than elsewhere? Is there flexibility and breadth in the projects you can take on or is it restricted and largely all based in KSA?

For context, I have an offer to move out there which I am considering at the moment. Thanks!


Personally, it's being amazing. I had never been to Dubai before so I took a leap of faith coming here but so far no regrets :) I found the people to be very like-minded, "work hard play hard" mentality where from Mon-Thurs everybody is working hard and on the weekend everybody is socializing boat parties, boozy brunches, beach clubs etc. If you are a person who likes to indulge in luxuries and hang out with people coming from different cultures, you are very likely to enjoy Dubai. June-September weather is awful so you mostly hangout indoors but also you make a boatload of money so in the summer everybody is usually traveling. Quality of life is unrivaled. You'll be living at the best buildings, eating at top-class restaurants etc. Extremely safe place and your money goes a long way when it comes to services (house cleaning, laundry etc.)

Professionally, it's been okay. Due to the nature of the region's economy, projects are mostly centered around Public sector (help ministries function), Energy (now more increasingly Green energy), Real Estate (they are building cities from scratch). I have friends who have spent 2 years and never done a single projects in any of these 3 fields. Projects are largely based in KSA, second place is UAE (Abu Dhabi), and then Qatar. Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain projects are a very small percentage. Staffing is usually very random when you're a junior so it is difficult to generalize. If you want to move back to the West internally, that is not a problem. For example, my office transferred 20 people to the New York office last year. If you want to go from MBB Dubai -> industry X in West, I think that will depend on your nationality (can you work in that country without requiring sponsorship) and how you sell your project experiences.

Hope this honest review helps, feel free to DM if you want to talk more about your considerations for taking/not taking the offer.


Thank you for the opportunity to list questions

What would you say the work/life balance is for MBB in Dubai? What is the weekly average in terms of work hours, do you have the weekends completely free?

What are the target schools for MBB in Dubai?


Work/life balance: To be quite frank on the lower end compared to Europe (ex-Italy) and US (ex-NY).
Average work hours: difficult to give an average because of the variability from week to week, project to project but I'd say (M-Th 9-10, Fr 9-6) 60-70
Weekend work: 99% completely free, if in fact you need to work on a weekend, you get credited 1 day back

Target Schools: nice thing about MBB Dubai is there are no strict set of schools they recruit at, people come from all around the world. That being said, there is a good representation from INSEAD, LBS, American University of Beirut, Bocconi, LSE, and so on.


Hi there! Do you have any idea how hard is it to recruit straight into Dubai from undergrad/masters as an European? I've done a MBB internship in Europe and received an offer but now feel like Dubai could be a good experience vs. my European office in my home country. Also got IB, PE and industry internships under my belt. Thanks!

Most Helpful

Here we go, some American "woke" hypocrite parroting Middle East = bad. 

Buddy, there's only one superpower in the world responsible for directly and indirectly causing the most war related deaths in the last 50 years. And it isn't the UAE or Saudi. 


I really do not understand this "confine social rights" argument.. Yes, you're right, in the UAE: you CAN'T shoplift items out of a retail store, you CAN'T overdose from opioids on the street, you CAN'T show your genitals to minors at the subway, you CAN'T pickpocket stuff, you CAN'T harass women by catcalling or physically abuse them in clubs, you CAN'T insult any religion, you CAN'T intoxicate yourself on the streets and disturb everybody around you.

The list goes on and on... 

The 'woke' mindset you have is exactly what's fueling the societal demise of Western countries.

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