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London Bonuses Seen Doubled in Dubai for Banking Analysts

Abu Dhabi
Skyscrapers stand on the city skyline beyond a jet skier passing close to the shore in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photographer: Duncan Chard/Bloomberg

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Junior bankers in the United Arab Emirates are reaping almost 36 percent more salary than their counterparts in London, with bonuses almost double those paid in the U.K. capital, compensation data provider Emolument said.

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

Dubai, which teetered on the brink of default in 2009, 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 U.A.E.,” 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 centers such as London.”

Tax Free

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 U.A.E., 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 U.A.E., 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 U.A.E.’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.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dale Crofts in Dubai at dcrofts@bloomberg.net; Stefania Bianchi in Dubai at sbianchi10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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