Dubai is renowned for the sheer scope, size and success of its hospitality sector; it is also considered to have the most industrious engineering sector in the world and at one point reports suggested that nearly a quarter of the world’s construction cranes were situated in Dubai.
However, it may come as a surprise to you that Dubai is not just about hospitality, engineering and 200 foot high construction cranes–there is another sector that is quietly emerging within Dubai on the back of its explosive population growth. This is the financial services industry and, in particular, the retail banking sector which is expected to grow by 10% over the next five years. This growth forecast has been backed up by another study by Accenture which revealed that 85% of bank executives said their banks were planning to invest in retail operations over the next three years. So growth forecasts in the retail banking employment sector look very reliable.
Talent shortages in retail banking
But the fact that the retail banking sector is growing is only half the story, because while demand for financial services is strong in Dubai, the supply of talent is especially weak, and the sector is currently experiencing talent shortages and predicting skills shortages into the future. As a result of these skills gaps, the Dubai financial services sector has become characterized by poor customer service.
Rising salaries for retail banking talent
Competition for retail banking talent within Dubai has become fierce and labor costs have been reported to be rising sharply to enable banks to compete with the public sector.
Its an Employee’s Market
All this means is that the Dubai retail banking sector is currently an employee’s market, making it a great time for retail banking professionals to gain employment in Dubai. There are openings for graduates, experienced professionals and both locals and expats.
Since the banks in Dubai and the GCC in general have to compete with the public sector for local employees, retails banks have had to offer enhanced remuneration and benefits to attract and retain local staff, which includes higher salaries, the chance to study for master’s degrees and fast-track program to leadership positions.
The retail banking sector should be an attractive proposition for European and US retail banking expats and graduates where the banking sector is downsizing and where youth unemployment is very high. The Dubai banking sector is especially short on customer service expertise, meaning that experienced retail banking staff from Europe and the US have skills that are especially sought after in Dubai currently.
Getting In to the Retail Banking Sector.
Landing a job in the Dubai banking and financial services sector should be straight-forward if you have the right experience and know where to look. The experience part is up to you, but below I have listed several good sources of Dubai financial services jobs and networking opportunities to help you on your way! Good luck with your job search.
- Linked in Group – Middle East (GCC) Recruitment Banking and Finance
- Annual Middle East Retail Banking Forum in Dubai in April of each year
- Gulf Jobs Market’s banking job section.
- efinancial Careers – Gulf
- And last but not least, check out this collection of banking & financial services job sites