The UAE’s Emiratisation initiative is expanding, requiring small businesses to recruit Emiratis to their workforce. This significant development was announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), with the goal of Emiratisation expansion in companies with 20 to 49 employees across various sectors. From 2024, these businesses must hire at least one UAE citizen, increasing to two by 2025, to meet the newly implemented quotas.
The following sectors are required to prioritize their Emiratisation efforts after the announcement:
This development presents an opportunity for small businesses in the UAE to contribute to the Emiratisation drive. David Mackenzie, Managing Director at Mackenzie Jones, a leading recruitment firm, emphasizes the significance of this expansion, stating:
“Essentially, every company in the UAE will employ an Emirati at some point in the future. It means there will be a lot more opportunities for UAE graduates, because SMEs won’t be able to compete with bigger firms so they will look at hiring new talent that won’t expect huge salaries.”
Stressing on the impact it will have on the Emirati workforce he claimed: “Emirati graduates will have opportunities at start-ups and SMEs, and it will most likely be a great learning curve for them to develop their talent.”
The Ministry of Finance’s recent announcement of five major projects aligns with the country’s “We the UAE 2031” strategy, demonstrating a comprehensive approach to future readiness. Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, leads this Emiratisation campaign, urging companies to comply with the new requirements.
وزارة الموارد البشرية والتوطين تعلن عن توسيع قاعدة المنشآت الخاصة المستهدفة بالتوطين لتشمل الشركات والمؤسسات الفردية التي يبلغ عدد العاملين فيها من 20 إلى 49 عاملاً في 14 نشاطاً اقتصادياً رئيسياً محدداً. pic.twitter.com/lBgaURiXxr
— UAEGOV (@UAEmediaoffice) July 11, 2023
Virtually all employers and companies in the UAE are now required to hire Emiratis in their workforce. In case of not meeting Emiratisation targets, heavy fines and penalties will be levied for non-compliance.
These measures have been introduced to encourage UAE employers to hire Emiratis in skilled positions in the private sector. The Emiratisation expansion to SMEs and start-ups with fewer than 50 employees necessitates a progressive increase in the proportion of Emirati employees.
MoHRE introduced new deadlines earlier this year. Employers are required to achieve a 4% target by the end of this year, followed by 6% by the close of 2024, 8% the following year, and ultimately reaching 10% by the end of 2026.
In summary, the expansion of the Emiratisation initiative to encompass small businesses presents an opportunity for the UAE’s private sector to contribute to the country’s vision.
By prioritizing the recruitment of Emiratis, companies can benefit from a diverse workforce and tap into the talent and potential of UAE graduates. Compliance with the quotas is crucial to avoid fines and support the overall Emiratisation drive.
Interested in hiring Emiratis? Get in touch with us to meet your Emiratisation goals!