Recession? No problem, go East!


To make my argument a little more compelling, here’s a link about the benefits of starting a career in the Middle East. The argument would probably apply to going a little further East than that:

Of course, nothing beats some good relevant experience in London; it is afterall one of the most prestigious financial centres in the world. However, that’s given there are opportunities available. The Middle East and Asia provides some very exciting prospects, and it says alot about your flexibility and adaptability if you can start a career abroad. With all due respect to those taking the accountancy route, why would you put yourselves through three years of hell? In addition, I can imagine that the IB competition will be fierce, given that there will be an influx of ACA graduates on the market. I just feel it’s a risky route for those prospective IBankers.

So, “In this economic climate, it pays to get some relevant experience further East”. Discuss.

Disclaimer: these are my views and mine alone, and I by no means wish to put people off accountancy, or any other alternative route into the industry.


Good thread HTale.

I’ve heard a lot of people mention the East as a basis for opportunity, but the key issue for me has been that I have no idea where to look for the roles, or which insitutions to go for?

I know there is a lot of Hedge Fund activity in the East atm, but it’s running the risk of becoming another bubble just waiting to burst.


The Dubai bubble has already burst…Thousands of people have already been laid off, don’t believe the hype. The bubble there was huge.

I was working on a grad scheme for Stan Chart but left last month.

One of the main problems of doign a grad scheme out there is the cost of living. Yes, the training is worthwhile to a degree, but the pay is poor compared London in terms of your purchasing power.

Getting paid 15700dhs a month may sound a lot, but when you pay 7,000 for a room in a flat, 3000dhs to get around in a month (no public transport), then all your food etc. You have little left over. Inflation was running at 20-30%. If you get an expat package then great. You need at least 25000 dhs to have the same purchasing power as a grad in London on around 26-27K.

Dubai looks great in brochures, but for six months of the year it is disgustingly hot. Try 45c and 90% humidity at eleven at night. Being in an office is fine for work, but I enjoy being outside, yet most of your life in Dubai is spent in airconditioned buildings. Albeit, some of the shopping malls are large.

It is my favourite boring place. Great for the first few months, then after that you see past the buildings, it is just shopping malls, overpriced bars and work. I personally disliked the rasicm and salve economy that was constructing so many of Dubai’s buildings.

I would head to Singapore and HK, as they are established markets that will not implode. You will also have a more enjoyable lifestyle, the countries are far more liberal coming from a Western Country.

As for accountancy, it has more long term career prospects and can normally weather a recession. Sure, pay in general is lower, yet the work life balance is far better. In the short to medium term, the pay per hour will certainly have accountants laughing. I know a number of analysts who’s bonus this year is that they keep their job!


I have some mates in UAE all went over there under the illusions of mega salries most are coming home this year after 2 years because its going tits up