Working in the Dubai Office?

Prospect in Consulting

Recruiting for consulting FT next year and I'd like some insight into the Dubai office for MBB firms and T2. Are the requirements different? What's typical work, I'm guessing Government/O&G projects? Is the pay better? Is it 'easier' to get into? Most employers in UAE provide expats with a house, would these firms do so?

Im based in London and I'm a 2nd year (going into last year) at a target

Comments (3)

May 1, 2020

Hey there, incoming first year at MBB in Dubai from target undergrad program (and American). During recruitment, interviewed with two MBB Middle East offices. Can definitely share some insight on this, based on what I've learned from this and friends' experience.

*Are the requirements different? Is it easier to get into?
Maybe, and not easier. The interviews were brutal and I knew other stellar candidates that weren't as lucky as me. And with any international opportunity, I suppose, you'll want to have a compelling reasons during recruitment for wanting to uproot and live in the Gulf for a while. Maintaining or improving their turnover rate might be an important metric in hiring. For example, for me, taking Arabic was key I think; the associated time investment and dedication suggests a genuine interest in the region, rather than someone who might be applying with other intentions. (There isn't a local language requirement, by the way... but if you speak multiple languages proficiently, that generally seems to be a big plus).

*What's the typical work like?
Your intuition is right, all MBBs take a lot of public sector clients and energy projects in this region. Bain seems to currently have more robust private sector practices, whereas the other two are more focused on public sector projects.

*Is the pay better?
Probably depends on your tax situation, and frankly I'm not exactly sure what my liability is as an American. Pre-tax income obviously not as high as major US cities... not sure how compensation stacks up by city. There is some kind of income tax exemption for American expats, which I think allows for up to 100k no-tax. That's obviously a huge plus.

Again, just now thinking about securing housing. Real estate is pretty attractive right now in the city, as you may know. So rent is very reasonable. I'd guess the exact relocation processes differ between firms.

Hope that clears some of your questions-- let me know if you have others. Been meaning to sign up for a while, and your post gave me that last push so thanks


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May 2, 2020

I too am an incoming FT pre MBA recruit for MBB out of a target school in the US (also am an American), can confirm every point above. Less base but you'll come out slightly on top (relative to a US office) if you take advantage of the foreign income tax exclusion. As for housing, they provide slight assistance finding housing but you're pretty much on your own after that.


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May 5, 2020
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