Legal Salaries in UAE for 2024

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Vadim

The legal sector in Dubai and the UAE is witnessing nuanced salary trends in 2024, with a noticeable dichotomy between private practice and in-house roles. Despite a slight average salary increase of 0.65%, private practice salaries have surged by 7.0%, while in-house roles have seen a decrease of 1.7%. This shift is influenced by a growing trend of organizations bringing outsourced support in-house and the competitive demand for bilingual (Arabic and English) legal professionals.

Salary Overview

  • Average salary increase: +0.65%
  • Private practice: +7.0%
  • In-house: -1.7%

Most In-Demand Roles

  • Senior Legal Associate
  • Senior Legal Counsel
  • Corporate Lawyer

In-Demand Technical Skills

  • Contract negotiation
  • Litigation
  • Drafting (Arabic)
  • Tax experience
  • GCE experience

Key Survey Insights

Focus on Arabic Language Skills

More organizations seek employees who can translate legal documents to reduce the overhead costs associated with external translations. Lawyers proficient in both drafting and speaking Arabic are particularly preferred by family businesses and oil and gas companies.

Business Conditions Driving Demand for Tax and Corporate Lawyers

The introduction of corporate tax in the UAE has spurred a demand for lawyers who can help businesses navigate the new regulations. There is also an increased demand for corporate lawyers due to a rise in IPOs, mergers, and acquisitions, driven by a flourishing economy.

Investment in Saudi Arabia Impacting Talent Availability

Legal talent is increasingly relocating to Saudi Arabia for lucrative construction projects, making it challenging for UAE businesses to find skilled professionals. UAE businesses must offer competitive packages, with pay increases of 30-40%, to attract and retain top legal talent.

In summary, the legal sector in Dubai/UAE is experiencing a dynamic shift with private practice roles seeing significant salary increases, while in-house roles face a slight decline. The demand for bilingual legal professionals and expertise in corporate tax and mergers is high. Businesses need to adapt their recruitment strategies and offer competitive packages to secure the best talent in this competitive landscape.

Legal Salaries in Dubai/UAE – 2024

Below is a comprehensive salary guide for various roles in the Legal sector in Dubai/UAE for 2024. This guide covers positions in private practice and in-house roles. All salaries are listed in USD and AED.

Private Practice

  • Senior Associate
    • Lower Range: $170,000 (AED 624,200)
    • Mid Range: $180,000 (AED 661,500)
    • Higher End: $230,000 (AED 845,100)
  • Associate
    • Lower Range: $90,000 (AED 330,300)
    • Mid Range: $110,000 (AED 403,700)
    • Higher End: $170,000 (AED 624,200)
  • Paralegal (Private Practice)
    • Lower Range: $50,000 (AED 183,500)
    • Mid Range: $75,000 (AED 275,250)
    • Higher End: $95,000 (AED 348,650)

In-House

  • Chief Legal Officer/Head of Legal/General Counsel
    • Lower Range: $230,000 (AED 845,100)
    • Mid Range: $310,000 (AED 1,139,700)
    • Higher End: $360,000 (AED 1,323,200)
  • Regional Legal Counsel
    • Lower Range: $175,000 (AED 643,750)
    • Mid Range: $225,000 (AED 826,500)
    • Higher End: $275,000 (AED 1,009,250)
  • Legal Manager
    • Lower Range: $130,000 (AED 478,100)
    • Mid Range: $150,000 (AED 551,500)
    • Higher End: $175,000 (AED 643,750)
  • Legal Counsel 6-9 years’ experience
    • Lower Range: $150,000 (AED 551,500)
    • Mid Range: $170,000 (AED 624,200)
    • Higher End: $180,000 (AED 661,500)
  • Legal Counsel 3-5 years’ experience
    • Lower Range: $85,000 (AED 312,950)
    • Mid Range: $90,000 (AED 330,300)
    • Higher End: $95,000 (AED 348,650)
  • Legal Counsel 0-2 years’ experience
    • Lower Range: $60,000 (AED 220,200)
    • Mid Range: $65,000 (AED 238,550)
    • Higher End: $70,000 (AED 256,900)
  • Paralegal (In-House)
    • Lower Range: $60,000 (AED 220,200)
    • Mid Range: $65,000 (AED 238,550)
    • Higher End: $72,000 (AED 264,240)
  • Legal Assistant
    • Lower Range: $55,000 (AED 201,850)
    • Mid Range: $65,000 (AED 238,550)
    • Higher End: $75,000 (AED 275,250)

This comprehensive guide provides a detailed overview of the salaries and job market trends in the legal sector in Dubai/UAE for 2024. Understanding these trends can help you navigate your career and make informed decisions about your professional future in the region.