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Investment Banking Salary in Dubai – Opportunities, Benefits, and More

Dubai is the city of the shopping precinct, globetrotters and investment banks. Investment banking is the new oil in Dubai, which is making Dubai a polestar in the Middle East. Dubai is seeing immense growth in investment banking. It is grabbing the eyeballs of foreign investors, with its favourable laws and regulations, infrastructure and lifestyle. I am fascinated to know if investment banking is an oasis or a mirage in Dubai. Are you too? This article highlights investment banking and investment banking salary in Dubai.

 

Investment Banking Salary in Dubai

Dubai’s economy is not only from oil, many sectors are helping Dubai to grow its economy. Dubai is a notable tourist spot. The tourism sector contributes a lot to Dubai’s growing economy. Like this, many sectors are contributing to Dubai’s GDP which in turn aids the investing banking sector to thrive. Let us delve into what investment banking means to Dubai.

Investment Banking in Dubai

Investment banking is the part of banking that helps organizations, governments and other institutions to raise money. It acts as an intermediary between the investor and the borrower firm.

The ideal job of investment banking is to raise funds from the investors. Investment banks raise capital through various services like Mergers and acquisitions, Underwriting, Equity and Debt Capital, Trading and Initial Public Offerings. These are the common financial instruments that the investment banks use to get the money. This is the overall concept of investment banking.

Dubai is the most inhabited city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai was a small fishing village in the 19th century and in the 20th and 21st centuries, it emerged as a trading spot. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the UAE is US $415 billion in 2023. In this figure, the contribution of Dubai is indeed huge.

The main drivers of the economy in Dubai are travel and tourism, Real Estate, Transport, Construction, Foreign investment, Industry, Diamonds and Gold. All these sectors are contributing to the economic growth of Dubai. These establishments are helping investment banking in Dubai to flourish.

As per reports, Dubai’s GDP growth was around 2.8% in the first quarter of 2023, which reached around AED 111.3 billion. The financial sector showed a record growth of 3.2% which was around 15% of Dubai’s overall quarter-one’s growth.

The investment banking market in Dubai is springing up. Dubai mostly covers the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Twenty countries make up the MENA region. They are Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya, Malta, Morrocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, West Bank and Gaza and Yemen.

In Dubai, there are bulge bracket banks and regional banks. Bulge bracket banks are internationally renowned banks and carry out a greater number of operations with a huge customer base. Regional banks are small banks with fewer services and less customer base.

The Top Investment Banks in Dubai Are as Follows:

  • HSBC
  • Emirates Investment Bank
  • Noor Capital
  • Allied Investment Partners
  • SHUAA Capital
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Rasmala
  • Palma Capital
  • Wealthface
  • JP Morgan
  • KFH

These are some of the important banks in Dubai. One interesting fact in Dubai is that not only international banks like JP Morgan or Morgan Stanley gained ground, but also many elite boutique investment banks are well known in Dubai’s financial market.

After learning the nitty-gritty of investment banks in Dubai, let us see what attracts the aspirants to fly to Dubai. Why people prefer Dubai as their next career destination. Is it related to the investment banking salary structure in Dubai alone, or there are other reasons?

Why Dubai is an Oasis of Opportunities?

Dubai is an emerging economy. This allures the investment banks and the investment bankers. The city is showing a vigorous surge in finance, industrial centres and international business. The factors that welcome the opportunities are discussed below.

The first reason has to be the rules and regulations. The laws and the tax regulations favour Dubai. Established in 2004, Dubai International Finance Centre is an independent tax-free zone. It provides 0% tax on income and profit. This led Dubai to become a financial hub.

The location of Dubai is also a boon for the investment banks. It is a gathering of both East and West cultures. This makes it appealing for investment banks to step into Dubai.

The third reason is the stock exchanges. In UAE, there are three important stock exchanges. Among them, two of the stock exchange is located in Dubai. They are Dubai Finance Market and Nasdaq Dubai. This reason also pulls the fat cats to invest in the Dubai Market.

The fourth reason to consider is that Dubai has evolved from an oil city to a diversified sector city. It has expanded itself into other zones like tourism, finance, IT, healthcare, manufacturing, Infrastructures and others. This has provided an opportunity for a great flow of economy.

The fifth aspect, of why investment bankers are attracted by Dubai is because of its salary structure. We will discuss the salary structure in detail. But the zenith is that Dubai provides tax-free salaries and bonuses. This makes the investment banker’s head turn to Dubai. The investment banking salary structure in Dubai is just apt for any finance aspirant who wants to get a lump sum of money in exchange for deep knowledge.

The sixth and last aspect as per my research is the culture of work. Indubitably, the working hours in Dubai for an investment banker range over 100 hours of work per week. But still, they can maintain a calm forte because the investment bankers can avail leave in June, July and August months. Another vital aspect that plays a role in providing opportunities is that the work time does not matter. Investment bankers need to finish their job without any lagging.

Yes! Investment banking salary in Dubai is an important cause for making Dubai a financial pivot, but the other factors are also equally paramount.

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Investment Banking Salary Structure in Dubai

After getting an overview of investment banking in Dubai and taking a sneak peek at the opportunities that made Dubai a financial hotspot, at present let us catch a glimpse at the investment banking salary structure in Dubai.

Before you gambol and check out the investment banking salary structure in Dubai, learn about the key components on which the investment banking salary structure in Dubai is designed.

The prime components are jotted below:

Base Salary

Base salary indicates the part of salary that we get in hand, after tax deduction. But in Dubai, it is a good aspect that, there is no tax deduction for incomes earned. This is the actual take-home salary each month.

Year Ending Bonus

This is the compensation part. This compensation bonus depends on the performance of the employees and the investment bank’s performance throughout the year. A performance appraisal is conducted for all the employees. The employees are rated according to their performance. Then bonuses for the employees are fixed as per the performance of the employee. The organization decides based on its overall profit, how much they are going to compensate the employee.

Joining Bonus

This bonus is to fascinate the new joiners in the banks. This bonus is paid at the time of joining an investment bank. This bonus applies to the greenhorns in the industry. It is also provided to retain them in the organization.

Benefits

The last aspect is the benefits provided to the employees. These benefits are provided to motivate and retain the resources. The benefits might include:

Health Insurance

Low-interest loans

Retirement benefits

Vacations

Relocation allowance

Tuition reimbursement

These are some of the benefits that the employee is eligible for during their service at an investment bank.

These are the four basic components that make up the investment banking salary structure in Dubai. These are the facts to know before you join an investment bank.

The next aspect in the pipeline regarding investment banking salary structure in Dubai is the roles the investment bankers are offered, the work performed in that role, hours of work and the salary provided by the Dubai investment banks.

Let this discussion be a little broader so that it provides a clear image of the investment banking salary structure in Dubai for each role. Here I have discussed the standard and prime roles in investment banking.

Analyst

The very first step in an investment banking career is the role of the analyst. The role of an analyst is offered after a financial aspirant has completed their bachelor’s degree or in the final year.

In this position, the newbie gets knowledge and gathers experience in real-life investment banking situations. They usually do research work as instructed by their seniors. They gather plenty of data about various organizations, investors and market conditions.

The analyst is also responsible for checking the details about their clients, and what baking service will suit them.

They also prepare the pitch – book. A pitch-book usually contains the details of the banking services. It is used by the managing directors and vice presidents when they are pitching their customers. This book acts as a guide and the visual aids help the clients to understand the matter in a better way.

They are responsible for transaction analysis, financial modelling and preparing reports in Excel. They also assist in portfolio management support in making strategic business ideas.

There is a lot to learn from the analyst role. They should be patient to do all the jobs that are expected of them.

Usually, analysts have the longest hours of work. But it is a common fact that investment banking is not a 9 to 5 job. You need to put a lot of your time and energy into this job profile.

As per Glassdoor, the average salary of an investment banker analyst is around AED 90T to AED 4L per year. This is the base pay. The average base bay is AED 3,10,000. There is compensation also. Compensation for analysts is around AED 70,000 on average. The range of compensation may vary from AED 7,502 to AED 1,22,750. This is what the investment banking salary structure in Dubai for an analyst position is all about.

Associate

Next, we step into the second ladder of success in investment banking. This is the role of an associate.  This is an entry-level position for candidates who have a qualified MBA. Associates are hired directly after the MBA. The MBA candidates can skip the analyst role. The people who are already working as analysts are promoted to associate roles after three to four years based on their performance.

The job role of the associates involves mostly guiding the analysts to prepare reports and do research as asked by their seniors. They too are responsible for preparing Excel data and collecting reports related to clients.

The job of an associate also demands client handling. They speak with the clients regarding any queries.

They are also responsible for preparing the cash flow, memorandums, transaction details and other necessary financial details between the investor and the investee.

They maintain good relationships with clients to get further business. They handle customer queries and requests.  They are also responsible for maintaining and reviewing collaterals related to financial transactions.

They are also responsible for portfolio management and marketing collaterals.

The work hours of an associate are arduous. Their work hours stretch to nearly 80 to 100 hours per week.

The base salary of an investment banker associate ranges from AED 68T to AED 4L per year. The average is around AED 4,77,360 per year. The report is as per Glassdoor. Like analysts, they are also eligible for compensation. The average yearly compensation is around AED 90,000. The investment banking salary structure in Dubai indeed makes the associates rich guy.

Vice President

The next big position in the investment banking career path is the job profile of a vice president. After strenuous and smart work of around three to four years, they get promoted to the position of vice president.  It is the first position in investment banking that carries out all the legitimate work.

Client handling is the most crucial responsibility of the vice president. They are responsible for closing big deals with big clients. They mostly have a speaking job as they need to pitch to customers and sell their products.

The job role of a vice president also demands the completion of a pitch book. They make the pitch ready along with associates and analysts and talk with the clients regarding financial deals.

They also need to win customers and close deals. On the other hand, they need to maintain a cordial relationship with customers too.

They need to elucidate what the director’s and managing director’s request is regarding the clients and work accordingly with the analysts and associates.

These are some of the responsibilities of the vice president.

We can see a vice president working in a bank for nearly 55-70 hours a week.

Now, the investment banking salary structure in Dubai has aided the vice presidents to earn around AED 5L per year on an average scale. This is their average base pay. Of course, the compensation slab exists as well. The director of investment banking can earn around AED 1,50,000 per year.

Directors

The next hierarchy in investment banking is the role of directors. From here on the investment bankers can think of their prestigious positions. To get a director’s position, one has to make a lot of effort. A vice president requires at least three to four years of struggle to get the director’s position

Directors are also known as senior vice presidents or a principal. In an investment banking career, the position of a director comes through a lot of hard work, knowledge gained and experience.

The job role of a director is to act as a bridge of communication between the managing director and vice president, analysts and associates. They focus on managing director’s expectations and work with below-the-line employees to get the work done.

The basic job role is to bring new business. A lot of pitching is done by them to get new clients and expand the business of the bank. They have hefty travelling schedules to bring in more sales to the bank.

The hours of work of a director are reduced to 50-60 hours per week.

Now the salary part. As per Glassdoor, the average base pay of a director in investment banking is around AED 1,80,000 per month. The average compensation of an investment banker is around AED 1,25,000. The investment banking salary in Dubai is no doubt favouring the employees a lot.

Managing Director

The next glaring position for an investment banker is the role of a managing director. The lion of the bank. This is the highest position that any investment banker can dream about. This is the last stepping stone to success in the career of investment bankers.

This profile is extremely high-end. After rigorous hard work of two to three years, the directors achieve the position of managing director in an investment bank.

In this profile, the candidates are expected to bring new business and new clients to the banks. They check the entire business flow in the investment bank.

As per the direction of the managing director, the employees work below the line work. They are directly responsible for the profit and loss of the bank. They need to get the work done efficiently and effectively for the bank’s profit.

The working hours of the managing directors are approximately 50 – 60 hours per week. But their portfolio involves travel.

The salary of a Managing director is around $10 to $20 million per year on average.

This is the basic salary structure that is followed in Dubai. The salary provided here is on an average basis. The compensation figures vary as per the bank’s profits every year.

We have understood the salary structure in detail and what components contribute to the remuneration of investment bankers.

The Bottom Line

Here is the conclusion. Investment Banking in Dubai is evolving. Many financial sectors are coming up for trading in the tax-free zone. The excellent infrastructure, the trading rules and regulations, the varied culture and the employee-friendly, tax-free salary all favour Dubai to be a financial centre. The investment banking salary structure in Dubai provides benefits for the employees and also attracts foreign nationals. After reading the article it can surely be said that Dubai is the new polestar in the Middle East. What do you think? Flying to Dubai?

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Investment Banking Salary in Dubai

1.      Does investment banking have a growth in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai is emerging in the financial sector. Many investment banks are set up in Dubai. Trade facilities and its regulations do favour Dubai as one of the best investment banking sectors.

2.      What are the positives and negatives of an investment banking career?

The advantage is, that it offers a great salary at the starting level. As you grow higher it increases. The next is compensation. The compensation sometimes is 100% of the salary based on bank performance and employee performance. Career development in the investment banking sector is rapid. You can learn many things related to the market, the economy and other organizations.

Disadvantages are a tiresome workload and limited exit opportunities.

3.      Is there any course in Investment Banking?

There are many courses on Google. IIM Skills (www.iimskills.com) offers a Certified Investment Banking course. They are one of the best institutes for professional courses. The institute offers placement support and internships too.

4.      What is the exit opportunity?

In Dubai, the exit opportunity is not very favourable. If any person exits, they are left with two choices: joining a private equity firm or Sovereign Wealth Funds. It is ideal to work for a longer period in investment banking.

 

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