Accounting and finance half year market update

Countries within the Gulf have undergone extensive changes since the introduction of value added tax, creating expectations for an increased demand for tax specialists in the UAE.

However, this did not pan out as we expected with a relatively small number of requests from the private sector (especially retail and food).

Download the full Robert Walters Middle East Job Index and Half Year Market Update report.

But the Big 4 and other consultancy firms have had an insatiable appetite for junior and mid-level tax advisory candidates for this country-wide
outsourcing exercise.

There were a number of key roles in finance and accounting (FP&A, VAT specialist & tax managers for the consultancy firms, internal audit and controllers) over the course of H1 2018, mainly senior and mid-management level. The demand for accountants and analysts continues
to dominate the market.

Another area where the application of VAT on everyday goods does not appear to be having an impact is on salaries-firms have generally not included the tax into pay rises and overall average monthly salaries remain the same as last year. This does not however change the fact that
the UAE remains one of the top paying countries for senior finance & accounting professionals globally.

There was also a growing demand for UAE Nationals in H1 with many of our clients aiming to comply with “Emiratization” legislation as we have worked on multiple Emiratization project roles in internal audit and traditional finance. This trend is set to continue in H2.

Dubai’s attractiveness among the finance and accounting workforce is growing and the Emirate has now been ranked among the world’s top 10 most attractive cities.

Dubai’s growing attractiveness is attributed to law and order, falling cost of living, multicultural environment, low taxation and income tax-free salaries.

While the mid-market roles at manager and controller level have been buoyant the senior 80K AED+ market for FD’s and CFO’s has been slow for the last 12 months. Treasury has also been a flat market within the broader non-banking finance space.

Multinational companies continue to open their corporate offices in Dubai, which brings opportunities for finance professionals to support the new offices. Outlook for H2 2018 is positive.

Download the full Robert Walters Middle East Job Index and Half Year Market Update report.

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