While Dubai has established itself as one of the more advanced countries within the United Arab Emirates, and the GCC at large, it hasn’t been left unaffected by the recent slump in oil prices and the region’s geopolitical risk. With far fewer jobs being advertised within its financial services and banking sector and audit firms, primarily the Big Four, being forced to postpone key hires until later this year, uncertainty has been the overwhelming market sentiment with regards jobs in Dubai.
That being said, when it comes to internal audit jobs in Dubai, the outlook is not nearly so grim. Accounting and finance professionals are at the forefront of employers’ priorities as the majority of businesses prepare to restructure their finance teams and install the right individuals to improve their systems and processes. As the region looks to further expand, particularly in anticipation of the 2020 World Expo, the job market becomes increasingly competitive. However, it’s important to note, that employers are subjecting candidates to tougher screening as they aim to fill roles according to a strict set of criteria.
The issue therefore, that employers are having when it comes to filling internal audit jobs is the ever-present skills gap that continues to plague the region. With limited talent available, businesses are utilising many more channels to advertise vacancies in order to reach a wider audience, so it’s worth thinking outside the box when searching for jobs. Social media for one is a prime source for job listings, so join the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn of the firms you’re interested in joining.
As far as its allure for the expat community, Dubai has received renewed attention thanks to media publicity generated in a bid to remind finance professionals that it is a lucrative destination for their career progression. Rent and living costs are unlikely to undergo a dramatic change so for Internal Audit managers or Heads of Internal Audit with substantial experience, typical salaries of around USD$35,500+ offer a good standard of living. Salaries range from $16,000-19,000 for a newly qualified internal auditor to $29,000-36,500 for a professional with over 5 years’ post-qualified internal audit experience and salaries for the region are only expected to increase both for new hires and those moving between jobs in Dubai.
Employers looking to fill internal audit jobs in Dubai want those candidates who will be a strong cultural fit as well as offering the right technical expertise and experience to carry their organisation forward. So, being able to demonstrate local knowledge together with an astute understanding of the sector and proven experience will go a long way in setting you apart from fellow contenders on the interview circuit.
Candidates who have achieved the ACA, ACCA or CIMA accounting certifications are the most sought-after within the region as businesses look to accumulate those individuals who can lend a degree of financial decorum as well as having the necessary skills to implement improved controls for their organisation. On that note, employers expect those applying to work for their businesses to have experience with US GAAP, IFRS and SOX accounting standards. Internal audit professionals will also be expected to be proficient in accounting software, Oracle and SAP among those most commonly used, and multinational experience is also highly valued by employers.