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The Emirati workforce has grown by 33% in the private sector, indicating a dramatic move towards Emiratisation in 2023. Employers in various industries enthusiastically support this project, proving their commitment to empowering and integrating local talent into the workforce.

This increase in Emirati labour force participation not only feeds economic growth, but also lays the groundwork for a more diverse and prosperous future in the UAE.


Key Takeaways on Emirati Workforce

Emiratisation is gaining pace in the private sector, with an admirable 33% increase in Emirati labour this year. 

  • According to official data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), about 68,000 Emiratis have found work in the country’s private sector.
  • More than 17,000 people have joined private enterprises in 2023 alone, demonstrating employers’ increased willingness to adopt Emiratisation and generate possibilities for local talent. 
  • This increasing tendency supports economic growth and promotes a more inclusive and affluent future for the UAE.


Emiratisation in private sector

The UAE has prioritized Emiratisation in the private sector, realizing its importance as a vital engine of economic progress. The Ministry of Human Resources announced that 67,988 Emiratis were working in the private sector as of May 17, up from 50,228 at the end of 2022, representing a 35% increase in the Emirati workforce.

This gain is even more remarkable in light of the fact that the number of citizens working in the private sector has more than doubled since the end of 2021. Emiratisation is also important for the UAE since it promotes inclusivity, empowers local talent, and ensures long-term economic success.

  • The UAE is making significant efforts to ensure a dynamic and successful future for its inhabitants and the nation by aiming for a 10% Emirati presence in the private sector by 2027.
  • Furthermore, businesses with at least 50 workers must expand their Emirati workforce by one percent every six months to satisfy the Emiratisation standards or risk fines
  • Companies are aggressively working towards achieving Emiratisation targets, with a target of 2% Emirati presence by January 1 and a subsequent increase to 3% by June 30.

Consequently, this commitment not only promotes the development and integration of Emirati talent, but it also assures adherence to the Emiratisation plan.


Emirati workforce rise as employers embrace Emiratisation in 2023
Emirati workforce rise as employers embrace Emiratisation in 2023

Companies embracing Emiratisation

The Emiratisation campaign has acquired great pace as businesses enthusiastically support the idea, and the effects are immediately visible. According to Vijay Gandhi, director at Korn Ferry, Emiratisation is successful in cultivating and recruiting Emirati talent.

Additionally, many organizations have eagerly accepted the challenge and discovered a wide range of accessible talent. Banking, telecommunications, and financial services are particularly well-suited to Emirati professionals.

There is a greater emphasis on the need for investing in local talent while expats continue to offer their expertise to the region’s growth. Companies clearly recognize the advantages of Emiratisation and are actively trying to ensure its success.


Companies should not take short-cuts

David Mackenzie, group managing director of recruiting firm Mackenzie Jones, advises companies against cutting corners and accepting penalties instead of developing strong Emiratisation practices. Some businesses consider fines to be an expense, but continuing to accept penalties may be more costly in the long term.

The UAE government is on high alert and will continue to levy penalties until compliance becomes financially prohibitive. Failure to incorporate Emiratis into the workforce has financial consequences as well as a demotion to category C company.

Mr. Mackenzie emphasizes Emirati candidates’ ability and the availability of local talent in the UAE. To deter rule-breaking even more, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has imposed significant fines for lowering personnel numbers or changing job titles to avoid Emiratisation penalties, emphasizing the significance of compliance.


Conclusion on rise in Emirati workforce

The huge increase in Emirati workers in the business sector demonstrates the successful execution of Emiratisation policies. Employers who embrace Emiratisation not only contribute to economic development, but they also have access to a pool of competent Emirati experts.

This encouraging trend emphasises the need of encouraging local employment and reaping the advantages of a diversified and competent workforce. Interested in hiring Emiratis? Get in touch with us to meet your Emiratisation goals! 

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