Dubai remains a place in the sun for Aussies

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At a time when financial jobs are being axed around the world, Dubai is still proving to be a recruitment oasis for those willing to work in the Middle East.

The lure of high-paid, tax-free work is proving attractive for many Australian bankers, who are moving into an array of senior roles in investment banking.

Advertised jobs are offering packages upwards of US$100k tax-free, including roles for researchers, finance directors, credit officers, money market traders, and senior M&A positions paying more than US$250k plus bonus. Arabic language skills will help, but are not mandatory.

"Business there is absolutely booming," says Michael Markiewicz, principal of Carmichael Fisher, which has an office in Dubai. "There are jobs in every field, absolutely. We've placed 94 people in the year we've been in Dubai and 20 of those are Australians, across all different sorts of areas."

Macquarie Capital is among those advertising for staff in the Middle East. Most of the major US banks are also active there, and many have been shifting big hitters to work in the region.

According to Michael Morcos, managing director of Edward W Kelley & Partners in Dubai, the higher oil price is driving the recruitment activity.

"The private equity arena is very hot - you're seeing many private equity houses being created, so the jobs are anything to fill those teams up.

"In the investment banking area, we're seeing new banks being announced literally monthly, and there's a significant amount of executives coming in to take up new positions."

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