Watani Programme

Inspiring and shaping tomorrow's leaders

What is the PwC Watani programme?

Our Watani programme aims to empower Emirati students, graduates and job seekers to become the next generation of business leaders, by providing exciting growth opportunities and enabling them to transform their futures.

Since 2014, we’ve been committed to investing in developing Emirati talent within our lines of service - Assurance, Consulting, Deals, Internal Firm Services (IFS) and Tax and Legal Services (TLS).

At PwC, our purpose is to solve our clients most important problems and to build trust in society. Here in the UAE, the Watani programme reflects our societal duty to give back to the Emirates, fostering growth for years to come.

And in 2020, we were proudly awarded the ‘Best Emiratisation Supporting Entity’ by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, honouring Emiratisation advocates in the private sector.

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About PwC

  1. Our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems
  2. We’re a network of firms in 155 countries with over 284,000 people committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services
  3. In 2020, we committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, globally
  4. We’ve also joined forces with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited, to help upskill millions of young people around the world
  5. We were ranked the #8 World’s Most Attractive Employer for business students in 2020 by Universum
  1. Committed to transforming our region, operating for over 40 years in the Middle East
  2. Over 6,000 people in 12 countries, across 24 offices
  3. Diverse culture of 92 nationalities
  4. Our client base operate across the entire Public and Private sector
  5. Our service offerings include Assurance, Consulting, Deals, Tax and Legal and Strategy& 
  6. Our industries include - Healthcare, Education, Energy Utilities and Resources, Government & Public Sector, Financial Services, Defense, Consumer Markets, Real Estate, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Sovereign Wealth Funds & Private Equity, Private Business, and Industrial Manufacturing
  7. Awarded 2020 CIPD ME Employer of the Year for our commitment to digital upskilling, flexibility and wellbeing
LoS pathway

Our commitment to the UAE

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40 years in the UAE
3000 people located across our Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices
2014 we launched our Watani Programme
135 UAE nationals developed over 7 years
57 UAE nationals currently working with us
86,972 hours spent on Digital Upskilling our employees in the UAE

Why should I join? 

Well, because it’s all about you!

We are proud to call the UAE our home, from the office space you’ll work in, the client experience you will gain to the technology you use, your experience with us will exceed your expectations.

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Some of the many benefits you’ll gain are:

You’ll get the chance to work with our most influential public and private sector clients from all over the world, working on some of our region’s largest transformational projects across multiple industries.

We’ve invested in the digital upskilling of over 6,000 of our people, elevating their technical skills and experience to have more insightful conversations with our clients. 

Are you ready for the digital world that lies ahead?

We know how important it is for our people to balance their work with their wellbeing. 

Our deeply embedded flex model gives you the opportunity to not only shape your day but also your career in a way that works for the firm, our clients and most importantly, you!

We’ve invested heavily in our infrastructure across the UAE.

Our brand new SMART office, complete with Experience Centre opened recently in Dubai giving you access to facilities that support both your  work and your wellbeing.



Ways I can apply to the Watani Programme

We welcome all UAE nationals to our Watani programme. When joining, you will immediately gain access to a multicultural and diverse working environment. We have four different ways that you can join us - through our:

ways i can apply

Graduate programme

Having graduated in the last 18 months, successful applicants will have the opportunity to join one of our Lines of Service - Assurance, Consulting, Deals or Tax and Legal Services and depending on which one, you will gain unrivaled work experience as well as the opportunity to study towards completing a certified professional qualification. 

Find out more about our current graduate openings here.

Internship programme

Our internship programme is open to those university students who are in their penultimate year looking for a taste of working in a professional environment.With access to on the job training and mentoring, you’ll get an opportunity to build your network and, who knows, you might even leave with an offer to join our graduate programme. 

Find out more about our current open internships

Experienced professional hires

We are always on the lookout for talented, experienced individuals that can make a difference. Whether you have worked in another Big 4 firm or have Industry experience, we can give you the opportunity to continue to accelerate your career aspirations. 

Have a browse through our openings and get in touch.

Secondees opportunities

Our clients often give their employees the opportunity to come and work with us. 

Joining PwC on secondment means you will get a chance to experience our inclusive and diverse culture, multinational work experience as well as taking part in our many upskilling programmes. 

If you are a UAE national currently employed with one of our clients, why not speak to your HR team about a potential secondment opportunity today.

Graduate line of service pathways

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  • You will start your journey with us with an introduction to the Firm and Assurance followed by a tailored training programme to prepare you for transition into your team. 

  • Following this, you will begin your professional qualification after your first 3 - 6 months in the firm. Choose from a range of approved qualifications to study including ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), and CPA (Certified Public Accountant) offered in partnership with PwC Middle East’s Academy. 


  • You will build your technical capabilities with hands-on experience while working on client engagements, giving you the opportunity to continue your professional qualification alongside your day job.


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  • Foundation for the Future (FftF) is our two year structured programme aimed at graduates joining our Consulting business. Starting with a comprehensive four week residential induction in Dubai, you have the chance to develop skills in areas such as finance, analytics, business change and operations as well as starting to develop your PwC network.

  • During the remainder of the programme, graduates have the opportunity to gain a breadth of experience across a range of industries, Financial Services, Health, Government & Consumer Products & Services to name a few, helping our clients drive innovation and growth, manage costs and operate effectively.


  • On successful completion of the programme, you have the opportunity to be promoted into one of our Business Units where you will start to specialise in a particular industry or area of expertise.


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  • You will start your journey with us with an introduction to the wider firm and the Deals Line of Service.

  • You will have plenty of opportunities to connect with your peers across the Middle East and the global PwC network. One way of achieving this is by welcoming you to EDGE, the PwC Deals Graduate Programme for Europe, Middle East and Africa (and recently also Asia Pacific). As part of the programme, you will have the opportunity to attend the International Deals Foundation Event (subject to any restrictions), and further down the line, if you meet the requirements, the International Deals Gateway Event, both in Europe.


  • While working in Middle East Deals, you will have the opportunity to work in some of the following areas: Corporate Finance and Restructuring, Deals Strategy and Operations, Transaction Services, Forensics, Real Estate Strategy, Capital Projects Services, Data Analytics and Infrastructure Finance and we will support you completing a Professional Qualification (PQ). Please see the FAQ section on qualifications for more information.


  • Your first two years in the business are all about gaining experience. As a graduate in Tax and Legal Services, you will rotate amongst many of our different business units, learning about their services and how we help our clients.

The Tax path

  • Some of the Tax business unit’s available in the UAE are International Tax Services/ Mergers & Acquisitions, Transfer Pricing, Digital Solutions & Indirect Tax.

The Legal path

  • If you are joining our Legal Business, you will rotate amongst the Legal business units which include Corporate, Entity Governance and Compliance, Government Consulting, Immigration, Employment, Data Privacy and FinTech.

  • You will also have the opportunity to pursue a professional qualification that will help support your growth and development. In Tax, you can pursue this once you become a BU specialist (after two years of rotations) and in Legal, we will support you through the New york Bar qualification ( NYB) in your second year of the programme.

Typical programme structure

year 1


  • Our September induction will welcome you to the firm
  • Immediately you will begin your technical training (relevant to your Line of Service journey)
  • Once completed, you will begin your client work experience and professional qualification (relevant to your Line of Service journey)
year 2


At this point you will be partially qualified and will continue your personal development through your ongoing work experience and studying for your professional qualification

year 3


Our investment in you doesn’t stop. You will continue to grow in your career through your ongoing work experience. The more you learn the greater the opportunities - whether they be in our Middle East firm or in one of our 157 offices from across the PwC global network.

How do I apply

  1. All our Watani Graduate positions will be posted on our Careers page. From here you will be able to submit your graduate application.
  2. If your application is successful, we will contact you and ask you to complete an online assessment.
  3. We will review your completed assessment and if it meets our hiring criteria, you will be invited to an interview with our Human Capital team.
  4. This will then be followed by 2-3 business interviews (for FfTF Consulting applications, you will be required to also complete a case study presentation). Your final interview will be with one of our Partners.
  5. Following your final interview, our Human Capital team will contact successful applicants by telephone. 
  6. After you receive a call from our Human Capital team, your offer letter will be sent to your email address and our Onboarding team will be in touch with you to share more information about your start date and induction to the firm. 
how to apply

Application Criteria

Applicants should be:

  • UAE Nationals

  • A recent graduate (graduated within the last 18 months) and holding a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.


How can I apply to the Watani Graduate programme?
  • It’s simple, just check out our how to apply section here
Who can apply?
  • Our Watani Programme is open to all UAE Nationals that hold a UAE passport and family book.
Who can I speak to about the Watani Programme?
  • If you have any questions about the Watani Programme, you can contact our Watani Programme Lead, Jasmine Soyan on mer_watani@pwc.com.
I have applied but have not heard back yet. How long does the application process take?
  • For our graduate programme, we have a robust application process which typically takes 3 months to complete.
I am trying to apply but need some help. Who can I reach out to?
  • Please contact our Watani Programme Lead, Jasmine Soyan on mer_watani@pwc.com.
What qualifications do I need to have to apply to the Watani Graduate Programme?
  • You must be a UAE National.
  • We are looking for UAE nationals who have graduated in the past 18 months and hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
What qualifications will I gain from joining the Watani Graduate Programme?
  • The qualifications you gain will depend on the Line of Service you join. Here are some of the typical Professional Qualifications (PQ) you can expect to gain:
    • Assurance - ACCA - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, CIA - Certified Internal Auditor or CPA - Certified Public Accountant
    • Consulting - as required
    • Deals - ACCA - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, CFA - Chartered Financial Analyst, or CPA - Certified Public Accountant. Deals requires you to choose from, and start studying towards, one of these PQs as soon as you join. You'll be expected to complete a PQ in order to graduate from the Edge programme, and to be promoted to Manager in Deals. We will support you on this journey, both financially and through study leave.
    • Tax and Legal Services support our team members through a variety of professional qualifications, and these vary by country and by business unit. Subject to your specialist business unit, some of the PQs you can expect to be given the option to pursue will be the ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation), NYB (New york Bar Exam), Transfer Pricing Diploma or VAT Diploma.
Do you only accept graduates on the Watani Programme?
I’m not a UAE national but I want to apply to the PwC Middle East Graduate Programme
  • If you are not a UAE national, you can apply to our Middle East Graduate Programme through our careers portal.
How long is a Watani secondment?
  • A Watani secondment can be a minimum of 6 months up to a maximum 12 months.
What is a secondment?
  • There are two types of secondment - internal and external. An internal secondment is where an employee is temporarily transferred to another role or department. An external secondment is a similar agreement but the employee is temporarily transferred from their existing employer to another company.
What sort of skills do you look for?
  • At PwC, we hire only the best talent. That means our recruitment and hiring process can be competitive. What we look for in any candidate is motivation, confidence and a strong work ethic, who is flexible and adaptable, can work under pressure and to deadlines, with a high business and digital acumen
What language skills do I need to apply?
  • Our firm is multicultural by nature and so are our clients. To join the Watani programme we are looking for candidates who have excellent English and Arabic written and verbal skills. Other languages skills are desirable
Can I switch to another line of service during my time in the Watani Program?
  • During your initial 2 years as the program is tailored to deliver the right training and experience within the LOS. Post the 2 years and on completion of PQ, this can be considered
What’s the difference between the Watani programme and the other graduate programmes?
  • Different to our graduate programme, our Watani programme focuses specifically on recruiting and retaining the most ambitious UAE Nationals. Introduced in 2014, our programme was developed to support Emirati talent to enter the professional workplace while providing them with a platform to acquire the desired skills they need to fulfil their career growth aspirations.
What Line of Service will be ideal for my degree?
  • Whilst not exhaustive, we have provided some examples of suitable degrees that naturally align themselves to our Line of Service offerings
    • Assurance -  Accounting, Banking and Finance
    • Consulting - Engineering or Technology
    • Deals or Tax - Business Management, Economics, Finance, or STEM
    • Legal - Law
How can I be seconded to PwC?
  • Our clients and secondment partners speak to us directly. Have a chat with your HR department about a potential secondment opportunity today.
Are secondments only for experienced hires?
  • Yes, external secondments are for experienced hires.


Contact us

Watani contact

Watani, PwC Middle East

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