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Top Arab executives being wooed back to Middle East

Top Arab executives being wooed back to Middle East
08/23/2006 07:42 PM By Shakir Husain, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Flourishing economies make the Gulf region a fertile ground to woo back top Arab executives working in the West, according to executive search firms.
There are a variety of high-profile jobs being created in places like Dubai, the firms say, and senior positions at large corporations in sectors like finance and banking could be particularly attractive to talented Arab expatriates in the West.
Currently, Dubai-based Ingram Consultancy says it does 40 per cent of its executive search recruitment from the Middle East. A decade ago, a mere 10 per cent came from the domestic market.
The movement of Arab talent back to the region is part of a wider trend as the Dubai brand develops globally.
"There is a big attraction to a lot of people to come and work in Dubai. As the brand Dubai works externally it is a relatively easy sell to senior candidates externally. It is not just the zero-tax, it is the whole lifestyle that Dubai offers," said Brian Hamill, chief executive officer of London-listed Imprint PLC. To expand into the growing executive search market in the GCC, Imprint recently acquired Ingram Consultancy for Dh35 million.
Hamill said most of his clients, more than one-third of them in the finance sector, are "talking about Dubai at the moment."
"Our business is basically based in Europe with three Asian offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong and Singapore. We see Dubai as a centre of our Middle Eastern and Indian business," he said.
"There is a big repatriation of Middle Eastern money back to the Middle East and I think that coupled with all the economic initiatives of Dubai, and also the region as a whole, it makes the city a very interesting place for international recruitment businesses. Business here is very strong domestically," Hamill told Gulf News.
Richard Ingram, head of Ingram Consultancy, said international executive search firms can spot and bring back Arab talent to the region.
"We are highly active in our head-hunting business in sourcing senior Emirati executives into senior positions," he said.
"In Dubai's case, there may be Emiratis who are outside the UAE at the moment and would look to return into an economy that is much more developed than it was when they left," he added. Magdy Al Zain, managing director of Boyden Middle East, another Dubai-based recruitment consultancy said economic buoyancy in the Gulf is attracting Arabic-speaking executives with Western experience.
"The trend is present across the GCC. There are big opportunities in the finance and banking sectors in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Given the right package, there is a willingness among Arab expatriates in the West to return to the region," Al Zain added.


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