Robert Half International, a New York Stock Exchange-traded American staffing giant, has opened an office in Dubai.
The move comes as many laid-off US and UK financial services executives are contemplating following the eastward shift of global wealth to such regions as the Gulf.
News of the opening of the new RHI office also coincides with Wednesday’s announcement by UK Chancellor Alistair Darling of a new 50% tax rate on earnings over £150,000 from next April. Dubai has no income taxes.
The new RHI office, located in the Dubai International Financial Centre, houses three divisions: Robert Half Finance and Accounting; Robert Half Financial Services Group, for banking professionals; and Robert Half Technology, for information technology specialists.
James Sayer will head up the RHI office in Dubai, the company’s first in the region. It has more than 360 offices worldwide.
A survey of hiring managers in the United Arab Emirates’ finance and accounting sector, conducted by Robert Half in March, found that 91% were planning to maintain current staffing levels in their finance and accounting departments or expand their teams.
Ian Graves, Robert Half’s Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “We see a lot of potential for our services, both in the UAE, specifically, and in the Middle East overall, as the market is still relatively young here.”
Those hoping to find work in the Gulf through RHI will, though, find that not only has the downturn affected economies there, but headhunters there increasingly have home-grown talent to choose from. The London Business School recently launched an executive MBA programme, also located in the DIFC, to meet the demand.
Founded in 1948 and based in California, Robert Half is a constituent of the S&P 500 and had annual sales in 2008 of $4.6bn (£3.15bn, €3.48bn). Its divisions include Protiviti Inc, a global business consulting and internal audit firm.
The website for the new RHI office is www.roberthalf.ae.