No wonder there's a 'Dubai rush': Dubai's bankers getting double their London counterparts in bonuses

Published March 21st, 2014 - 12:50 GMT
 The UAE, the second biggest Arab economy, doesn’t impose income taxes.
The UAE, the second biggest Arab economy, doesn’t impose income taxes.

Junior bankers in the UAE are reaping almost 36 per cent more salary than their counterparts in London, with bonuses almost double those paid in the UK capital, compensation data provider Emolument said.

Fixed salaries at the analyst level in the UAE average $91,000, compared with $73,000 in London, the group said in an e-mailed statement. Bonuses in the UAE, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, averaged $27,000 compared with $14,000. For associates, fixed pay in the UAE was $107,000, compared with $108,000 in London, while bonuses of $40,000 in the UK were about 29 per cent higher.

Dubai is rebounding as equity and property markets soar. Banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Renaissance Capital are boosting teams in the region and hiring bankers from competitors.

“Professionals shouldn’t underestimate the fluidity of recruitment in banking in the UAE,” Emolument said. “If you are the right fit, you are probably in a very strong position to negotiate substantially thanks to the scarcity of candidates versus larger financial centres such as London.”

While bonuses and fixed pay are significantly higher in London at the director and managing director level, “the picture blurs when adjusting for tax and expat perks,” according to Emolument. “The gap in real terms is narrower than shown through simple numbers.”

 The UAE, the second biggest Arab economy, doesn’t impose income taxes. Dubai International Financial Centre, a tax-free business park, is home to the regional offices of banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Citigroup Inc and Standard Chartered Plc.  Director level salaries average $200,000 per year with a $116,000 bonus in the UAE, compared with about a total of $449,000 in London, according to Emolument. Managing director pay in London at an average of $931,000 was more than double the UAE’s $437,000.  Emolument says it receives salary and bonus data directly from individuals on an anonymous basis and has more than 20,000 contributions from individiuals at more than 3,500 institutions.

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