Micheal Page guide offers insight into Middle East strategy salaries

25 January 2019 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

Specialist recruitment consultancy Michael Page has released its 2019 salary survey for professional services employees in the Middle East, with top level strategy gurus pulling in as much as US$60 thousand per month before bonuses.

Recently, former Dubai-based management consultant Taimur Khan Jhagra departed the Middle East to pursue a political career in Pakistan, leaving behind a reported $600,000 per year job as a partner with McKinsey. But what of a strategy and management cadet, or the managing partner of a small-to-medium boutique, or an indispensable but possibly unappreciated personal assistant at a consultancy for that matter, and all of their pay-packet expectations?

The recently released 2019 salary survey for the Middle East compiled by international specialist recruitment and human resources consultancy Michael Page can serve as a reliable starting point, with its data drawn from the firm’s own placements – totaling some 2,250-plus which the agency worked on in the region last year from its primary Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices and across its locally operating brands Page Executive, Michael Page, and Page Personnel.

But before we get to the big dollars, the consulting firm in this year’s report notes the continuing shift in the human resources and recruitment domain, with candidates now wanting a clearer picture of career development pathways and cultural aspects such as flexible working approaches before signing on board – with previous incentives such as higher or tax free salaries now taking a back-seat, no longer enough to attract and retain the best people.2019 salary guide for strategy consulting jobs in the Middle EastNow, the burning question for eager and experienced consultants eyeing perhaps a sea-change (desert-change?) or potential career opportunities in the Middle East – how much can one expect to earn in Dubai, or Manama, or maybe even Muscat? While the report doesn’t give a break-down by country, it does differentiate between positions at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations – and if you’re the managing director of the latter at a leading strategy firm you could possibly earn up to 220,000 dirhams per months.

That’s roughly $60,000 US dollars per month, or a $720,000 per year – before bonuses. On the flip-side, if you’re just starting out and still earning your stripes as an associate at a small SME, you could be on as little as 10,000 dirham, or closer to US$2,500 per month. Dubai meanwhile was recently assessed as the second-most expensive city on the planet for a pair of blue jeans, while a standard two-bedroom expat apartment will on average set renters back $2,995.

These examples are of course two polar extremes, whereas a manager, say, at an internationally recognised management consultancy, might earn somewhere in the range of ~ $80,000 and ~ $200,000 – with those on the same level at a SME averaging around $100,000. An in-house business planning or performance manager can expect a little more, while the chief strategy officer at multinational corporate on average sits below the partner pay-scale at an external strategy firm.

Elsewhere, the big earners at the top of the tree (all with potential earnings upwards of $400,000 per year) include CEOs of retail operations, private legal practice partners, chief information officers at multinationals, group or regional chief financial officers, and a number of head roles in the private equity and investment, wholesale and consumer banking sectors – a leading executive vice president of the latter maxing out the charts at around $650,000 base per year, or, a lot of blue jeans. That personal assistant at a management consultancy? About $60,000 p/a.