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Salaries in Dubai

Hi, Sunil here to discuss salaries in Dubai.

How much can you make in Dubai?

How much do you get paid in Dubai?

These are typical questions that I get not only from our newsletter and blog followers, but also from family and friends.

Everyone is just so mesmerized by what they hear about Dubai salaries and they always want to learn about it first hand from me.

So how lucrative are salaries in Dubai? Very much so, but maybe not as much as you thought? Everyone thinks that a huge golden egg just awaits each and everyone of us in Dubai. The truth is, getting a job in Dubai isn’t easy. It is very competitive. Dubai is a small place and there are many who want to move there to work, mainly because of the tax free living.

I mean there are positions in investment banking, private equity and finance (trading) that can pay very well mainly because of the bonus component.

But then again, those jobs are also available in the West, and elsewhere.

So why leave? In fact in one fortune 500 company that I worked at, our CEO took home $14 Million (USD) a year on average.

Providing that you have the education and the credentials that employers in Dubai are looking for, you can expect your salary in Dubai to be approximately 25% higher than what you make in the USA, Australia, Canada or UK.

Notice I did not include countries like India, Philippines, Pakistan and the likes. The reason for that is that even the most qualified graduates from those countries typically don’t get the salary you and I would expect them to get. Remember, the type of passport you hold makes a big difference in your salary in Dubai.

This is not to say it is not possible. There are always exceptions to the rule, but gosh is it tough. However you slice and dice it, to command the best salaries in Dubai, you MUST be very good at what you do. You are paid well for a reason.

Technical skills are rewarded as they are anywhere. The difference in the raw Dollars, Euros or Pounds won’t be that much, however you will inherently save because you won’t be paying any taxes. Many technical experts end up getting high level positions in the government sector or do personal work for the wealthy Sheiks. Those guys are an exception and make a tremendous amount of money.

So Are the Salaries in Dubai Worth You Moving?

This is a personal decision you need to make. Moving doesn’t just mean a new job, it also means new environment, new friends, new atmosphere and a new experience. In many cases it is also a risk. If you have a family you have to think about everyone’s situation as well. Do you want to raise your kids in Dubai? Do you have dependent parents living with you?

Sorry about the tangent, but what I just said is very much applicable. Back to salaries however, if you are living and working in a first world country like the United States or UK or Canada or Australia, take the amount you are making and convert it to Dirhams (AED). This is roughly how much you will be making in Dubai.

In many cases you might even make a lower amount, and in some cases you will make more. If you have a specialty skill (i.e. Banking regulations knowledge or IFRS / US GAPP for a US based company), you will definitely make a premium. So as you can see there is little to no difference in the gross dollars you make.

However, what you take home differs significantly. Remember, you pay NO TAXES in Dubai. So if you typically pay 40% in taxes, this is the amount you will save by working in Dubai. Now is that 40% worth the trade offs of working in Dubai? Have you considered the cost of living in Dubai?

Kish and I hope that you found this section a helpful introduction to how salaries in Dubai are similar or different from where you currently are.

Check out our Dubai Salaries Spreadsheet for reference

Dubai Salaries Spreadsheet

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