A posting in the Gulf isn’t what it used to be. Bahrain has lost a lot of its appeal and banks have been making redundancies, relocating top Gulf-based people back to the UK, or deciding that maybe Africa is the better bet.
Equally, despite the sun and despite the beaches, the standard of living in the Gulf isn’t seen as particularly high. Yesterday’s Mercer Quality of Living ranking put Dubai 74th, Abu Dhabi 78th, Doha 106th and Riyadh 157th. London came 38th.
This may help explain why there’s a bit of a talent shortage happening at banks in the Gulf region.
Accenture surveyed 80 ‘C-level’ executives in the GCC and 60% of them said finding enough employees was a “significant challenge.” 90% of them said “attracting and retaining talent” were going to be their most important strategy in future.
Even better, 51% of Accenture’s respondents said they wanted to revamp compensation and offer higher salaries and bonuses.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Accenture’s survey covered retail banks as well as wholesale banks. A lot of the jobs are likely to relate to “distribution networks, branches and ATMs,” or, “integrating channels for more seamless customer experiences.” Even if you get to go to the beach after work, this may not prove a panacea to losing your investment banking job in London.