- August records a sharp increase in Tax job market in UAE, defying the usual summer recruitment slowdown.
- H2 of 2023 witnesses a significant rise in in-house tax roles, indicating a shift in the market dynamics.
- Transfer Pricing specialists are highly sought after, especially in businesses with extensive cross-border transactions.
- While no fixed benchmark exists for tax salaries, candidates with regional experience or sectoral knowledge can negotiate premium pay.
- Budget constraints and an increasingly competitive market pose challenges in hiring experienced tax professionals.
- Anticipation of more leadership roles opening up in Q1 of 2023, aligning with the evolving tax landscape in the UAE.
Tax Job Market
Dubai is witnessing a surge in Tax job market, making August the busiest month of the year in terms of recruitment. This upturn comes as the UAE gears up to host COP28 and aligns with the ‘Year of Sustainability,’ highlighting the significance of sustainable practices within the region.
While summer months are generally slow for recruitment, the tax sector is experiencing a notable increase in demand, especially following the recent introduction of the Corporate Tax regime. Companies, particularly in the mid-sized segment, are seeking tax specialists to navigate this evolving landscape.
H1 2023 Focus
In the first half of 2023, the focus was primarily on Tax roles within Consultancies, particularly mid-sized consultancies and boutique tax firms. These firms have been bolstering their Corporate & International Tax and Transfer Pricing practices to meet the growing business demands.
H2 2023 Surge
As the year progressed into the second half, there has been a significant rise in in-house tax roles. This indicates a shift in the market, with a substantial increase in in-house tax jobs anticipated in the coming weeks.
Trends and Preferences
- Timelines: Businesses are increasingly seeking tax professionals with shorter notice periods or those available for immediate employment.
- Specialization: Transfer Pricing expertise is in high demand, particularly in businesses with significant cross-border transactions.
- Regional Experience: Candidates with regional experience and sectoral knowledge are preferred due to the specific demands of the nascent tax laws in the UAE.
The data shows a high demand for Tax Managers and below, tapering down at leadership roles. Mid-sized businesses often prefer mid-senior level tax specialists who can independently manage the tax function and report directly to the Head of Finance or the CFO.
While there is no fixed benchmark for tax salaries in the industry, the provided salary range is indicative. Factors like roles, responsibilities, benefits, bonus policies, and organization size influence the actual salary. Regional experience or sectoral knowledge allows candidates to negotiate a premium on their existing pay.
Consultancies are grappling with a high attrition rate and a surge in demand for junior-level tax professionals in Indirect Tax and Transfer Pricing. Immediate availability or a shorter notice period is given preference to ensure a smooth transition.
Challenges and Market Competitiveness
- Budget Constraints: Working within fixed budgets can be a challenge, especially when seeking experienced candidates who may demand a higher salary.
- Competitive Market: The tax consultancy market is becoming increasingly competitive, with new startups and traditional firms venturing into tax practices, setting the stage for intense competition.
With the tax landscape evolving in the UAE, businesses must recognize the value of tax specialists and align their budgets with market standards to attract the right talent. The competitive market necessitates staying ahead of trends and adapting to the evolving tax environment.