Since the inception of the Dubai International Finance Centre, Dubai has become the Middle East hub for over 50 international law firms. The last 10 years has also seen huge growth in the in-house legal market. From the 1970’s onwards Dubai’s forward-thinking rulers diversified the economy so as not to rely on oil reserves. Now a centre for regional and international trade, Dubai’s economy relies on trade, tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services. It is a 7 hour flight from London and a 13 hour flight from the east coast of Australia.
The law firms in Dubai tend to focus on:
- Banking & finance
- Projects & construction
- International arbitration & commercial litigation
- Intellectual property
- Real estate
Salaries are high and tax free. At a leading UK law firm a 3 years’ PQE lawyer can earn AED50,000 per month. A 5 years’ PQE lawyer can earn around AED58,000 per month.
Non-residents require an employment pass from a sponsoring law firm or company.
As one of the world’s top tourist destinations Dubai is an extremely attractive and safe place to live. Although most lawyers will easily work as hard as they would do in London or Sydney, the commute to the office is generally quick on Dubai’s busy roads or on the recently built overland metro. Dubai is truly an extremely cosmopolitan and exciting place to work and live.