Double the Workforce, Same Employment Standards? A Look Into the Venture Capital / Investment Industry in the UAE

Julian Herzog
6 min readAug 25, 2022


It’s 2022. The past decade has been coined with shifts towards employment equality worldwide. Do these shifts translate to the venture capitalist realm? That’s the question I look to uncover today by comparing two venture capital superstars located in the Middle East.

The comparison between Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala is an interesting one since both companies retain similar ownership and are in the same geographical area. Mubadala is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, which remains the sole shareholder, while Abu Dhabi Investments is a subsidiary of Mubadala. Does the employment culture transfer between these two companies?

To effectively answer this question, we’ll go through numerous different employment statistics and information provided by Osterus, a software program that analyzes patterns between companies to find similarities and irregularities.

Let’s start by looking at the basics of each company. Mubadala is 10x smaller compared to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority despite having similar ownership. Abu Dhabi Investments was founded in 1976 while Mubadala has only been around since 2017. The market capitalization of Abu Dhabi Investments is close to $205 billion while Mubadala is $284 billion.

Despite the smaller company size, Mubadala has a larger market share compared to Abu Dhabi. The increase in asset management and company newness can impact the employment statistics and company culture, so let’s dive in.

A majority of the employees at both companies have over 15 years of experience with 52.8% and 36.5% of employees falling in that category for Abu Dhabi and Mubadala, respectively. The 5–10 and 10–15 year categories are the next highest categories with 16.7% and 25.3% in the 5–10 year and 20.6% and 24% in the 10–15 year category for Abu Dhabi and Mubadala, respectively. The 0–1, 1–3, and 3–5 year categories are very minimal. The below graphic reinforces these statistics with Abu Dhabi Investments in blue and Mubadala in green.

So, what does this tell us? Due to the significant years of experience a majority of the employees have, these companies are only looking to attract individuals that have a strong understanding of the investment realm. Fresh graduates and those just entering the workforce may have increased difficulty securing a position at these companies.

The current employment duration distribution gives us insight into how long each employee has been with the company. A majority of employees have been with the company for between 5 and 10 years with statistics showing 35.8% and 32.6% for Abu Dhabi and Mubadala, respectively.

The next largest category is the 1–3 year category with 18.1% and 21.5% for Abu Dhabi and Mubadala, respectively. Despite the work experience statistics that we previously mentioned, the 10–15 and 15+ year categories have low percentages.

For Mubadala this makes perfect sense as the company was only formed in 2017; however, for Abu Dhabi this can indicate that the team is bringing on experienced professionals from different companies rather than giving them the opportunity to grow with the company.

Looking at the historical employee retention also sheds light on the ability of each company to retain talent. Historically, each company retains employees for an average of 1–3 years with Abu Dhabi showing 35% and Mubadala showing 39.9%. The next highest category is the 3–5 year category with 26.1% and 31.3% for Abu Dhabi and Mubadala, respectively.

Surprisingly for Abu Dhabi, there is only 1.5% in the 15+ year category and 3.1% in the 10–15 year category. This means that Abu Dhabi has a higher employee turnover after 10 years. Possible explanations for this are minimal room to grow once employees reach a certain point, causing them to seek other opportunities. Mubadala has not been around for over 10 years, meaning there is no real point of comparison.

The gender distribution of each company is also very telling. Both companies are male dominant with female employees being a minimal category compared to men. The general management category shows 60% males and 40% females in Mubadala and 86.36% males and 10.61% females in Abu Dhabi.

The associate category further supports male dominance with 72.22% males and 22.22% females in Mubadala and 72.88% and 27.12% females in Abu Dhabi. Each of the other categories supports a male dominant work environment. Which is statistically speaking mostly the case in Venture Capital and PE, we usually see 70 /30 percentages.

Both Mubadala and Abu Dhabi can improve when it comes to the hiring process here. A lack of diversity and in general female representation in the venture capitalist industry often leads to less opportunity.

Even though Mubadala has a more equal representation in the general management category, the other categories fall short, highlighting the opportunity for change.

Now, let’s compare the distribution of job titles. The highest category in Mubadala is C suite with 22.46% of employees in that category while AIDA (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority) reports only 4.5% of employees in that category. The highest category in Abu Dhabi is general management with 11.15% of employees there. This category is second for Mubadala with 8.47% of employees within that category. Investors and associates are close behind for both companies.

To be fair, we also pick up positions such as Vice President within the C suite, which is not accurate for a lot of companies and our data could be off here, but rest assured our insights just keep on getting better.

Mubadala is placing a greater emphasis on high-level management compared to Abu Dhabi which is just looking for general managers. This tells us that Mubadala is still in the growth phase with high-level decisions being made on a regular basis while Abu Dhabi is more established and switching operations to rely on managers rather than company executives.

Finally, let’s look at the companies employees worked at prior to joining Abu Dhabi and Mubadala. Accounting firms are a popular background amongst employees at both companies with Ernst & Young, PWC, and KPMG among the list of prior employers. The top companies employees from Abu Dhabi have on their resumes include Axa Investments, JPMorgan, and UBS while Mubadala shows Los Angeles Marathon, CBS Corporation, Virgin USA, and Precision Systems.

Employees at both companies come from diverse backgrounds with the main focus on accounting, investments, and finance. This supports both companies’ goals to hire experienced professionals to help lead operations.

Comparing Abu Dhabi and Mubadala uncovered stark similarities in the work distribution, retention distribution, and gender distribution. Both companies have areas for improvement when it comes to female representation in the workforce.

The data provided by Osterus was used to pinpoint this information and highlight critical employment insight on both companies. This information is only the first step in the capabilities data can provide us with. We can use this information to weigh the quality of life and cost of living, uncover the best company fit for your needs, and easily compare different opportunities in the workforce.

For more information, reach out to contact us directly, on LinkedIn, or schedule a demo for even more insight.



Julian Herzog

Founder of — see my full bio there :-)