Work-life balance, geographic location and a thriving business culture have placed Dubai top of the list for the world’s oil and gas professionals

Dubai is now the world’s number-one dream city for oil and gas industry professionals, despite the fact that most of the hydrocarbon reserves of the United Arab Emirates are located in Abu Dhabi.

A Rigazone survey of more than 8000 oil and gas professionals has revealed they believe Dubai to be the city with the most exciting and promising future out of the world’s major energy capitals.

The survey put Dubai ahead of Texan energy hub Houston and nine of the world’s most exciting energy cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Jakarta and Singapore.

Dubai first discovered oil in 1966 at the offshore Fateh field and started exporting in 1969. Other fields were also discovered, at Falah and Rashid, along with gas reserves.

Dubai currently has about four billion barrels of oil in reserve, but production peaked in 1991.

Since then the emirate has invested the proceeds of its oil industry into creating one of the most diversified economies in the Middle East and one of its most exciting cities, Dubai.

Strategically, Dubai’s location in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, and its proximity to energy markets in the Middle East and Africa, is ideal for oil and gas companies.

With the sixth largest oil reserves in the world, the UAE has about 8.1 per cent of the world’s proven crude oil reserves.

The UAE exports about 2.8 million barrels of oil a day and in 2014 OPEC estimates that its exports were worth about US$107.8 billion, second only to Saudi Arabia’s.

After Iran and Qatar, the UAE also has the third largest gas reserves in the Middle East and the fourth largest in the world.

Major firms like Shell, Total and Lukoil, as well as service firms like Halliburton and Baker Hughes, have offices in Dubai that allow them to operate regionally and to enjoy the city’s stability and prosperity.

On a number of levels, including lifestyle and security, choosing to live in Dubai clearly makes sense for professionals in the energy business and other sectors.

But it is also Dubai’s economic diversity and overall liveability—its restaurants, hotels, tourist sites and multicultural energies--that attracts the energy sector’s workforce.

A spokesman for Rigzone said, “Work-life balance continues to be a dominant theme. Energy professionals know there’s a lot of hours put in, but there are just as many opportunities for extended time off”.

“Add in higher than average compensation and energy professionals have the time and the means to enjoy diverse, rich cultures found in some of world’s most exotic locations.”

Apart from being a major energy hub in the Middle East’s second biggest economy, Dubai has outstanding infrastructure, highly developed financial services sector and an approach to economic growth that

Port Jebel Ali is the most efficient in the world, while Dubai International Airport is now the world’s busiest, surpassing London’s Heathrow in passenger numbers.

Together they allow oil and gas firms to manage their logistics effectively and to transport their employees around the region efficiently.

The business friendly culture of Dubai is also a factor in attracting talent.

There are no corporate or personal income taxes, the Free Zones offer full repatriation rights for capital and profits and an open immigration system provides a steady talent stream.

According to the Global Talent Competitive Index, the UAE is ranked number one in the Middle East and North African region, especially for its ability to attract talented foreign workers. Out of 93 nations around the world, the UAE ranked 22nd.

Energy sector professionals are a microcosm of the emirate’s complex, international workforce but the pull of Dubai’s lifestyle and business friendly culture applies equally to all sectors of its diversified economy.

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