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Are you ready for the new changes in hiring UAE nationals in 2024? As businesses continue operations in the UAE, we’re witnessing a significant shift in the government’s Emiratisation policies this year. These evolving Emiratisation policies in 2024 are aimed at boosting the employment of UAE nationals across all sectors.

Furthermore, the evolving Emiratisation policies in 2024 are important for diversifying the economy and reducing the UAE’s reliance on international workers. This will foster a local job market rich in diversity and opportunities. So, continue reading to learn more about the UAE’s evolving policies in 2024!


Key takeaways

Here are a few important things to note from Emiratisation’s evolving policies in 2024

  1. 2024 updates and regulations
  2. Impact and benefits
  3. Consequences of failure to comply


1. 2024 updates and regulations

a. Bringing emirati talent to small and medium-sized companies

As part of Emiratisation policies in 2024, if an employer has a company with 20 to 49 workers, they need to hire at least one Emirati. The next year, they’ll need to hire another one. This requirement will increase to two Emirati employees by 2025. 

This marks a significant shift from earlier policies, which focused on larger entities with over 50 employees. For employers, this means rethinking recruitment strategies and opening doors to the local talent pool, enriching their teams with local insights and expertise.


b. Emiratisation in diverse economic sectors

The updated Emiratisation policy isn’t just about numbers; it’s about enriching a variety of sectors with local talent. For employers in the UAE, this means that industries such as Information Technology (IT), Financial Services, Insurance, Real Estate, and Healthcare are encouraged to bring Emirati professionals into the workforce. 

Therefore, this initiative ensures that these critical sectors are powered by the people who have a vested interest in the nation’s prosperity. Employers must look into these sectors and identify opportunities for Emirati professionals to excel, contributing to a diverse and robust economy. Additionally, in a significant move to enhance talent retention in the UAE, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) and Bayt.com have signed an MoU. This partnership aims to make staying in the country more attractive for skilled nationals.


c. Supporting measures for employers

Employers are not left to navigate the evolving policies of 2024 on their own. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has set up the Nafis platform to aid employers in this transition.

  • Nafis acts as a bridge, connecting employers with Emirati job seekers and providing the necessary training to ensure that the new hires are ready for their jobs.
  • This platform is of significant help for employers seeking to comply with the new regulations without compromising on the quality of their workforce.
  • Furthermore, it offers a streamlined process for employers to not only meet the legal requirements but also to enhance the competencies of their teams with skilled Emirati professionals.

Moreover, it also assists in retaining top Emirati talent within the workforce.


2. Impact and benefits

a. Boosting employment for UAE nationals

Emiratisation policies in 2024 are set to open up approximately 12,000 new job positions annually for UAE citizens. This is important for both employers and job seekers. For employers, it’s a chance to bring fresh perspectives and diversity into their companies.

Moreover, having a workforce that reflects the local community can be helpful for businesses. This is because it often leads to better understanding and serving the local market’s needs.


emiratisation policies in 2024


b. Encouraging local talent

For employers, the Emiratisation policy is a chance to tap into the pool of local graduates and professionals. This is especially true for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.

  • By focusing on these areas, the policy helps develop the skills of Emirati workers and ensures that businesses have access to a talented and knowledgeable workforce.
  • For employers, it means having a team that brings various skills and local knowledge to the table, which can help a business grow in the right direction. 


c. Rewarding companies that comply

A new tiered compliance system that classifies businesses based on how well they follow the Emiratisation rules has been introduced as part of the evolving policies of 2024.

  • This means employers will fall into one of three groups, depending on their level of compliance.
  • Those who do well with hiring UAE nationals will receive benefits, while those who don’t could face penalties.
  • This system is designed to motivate employers to take Emiratisation seriously and to reward those who are contributing to the policy’s goals. 

It’s like a recognition system that encourages businesses to do their part in this national initiative.


3. Consequences of failure to comply

For employers in the UAE, following the Emiratisation policy is not only a commitment but a legal obligation. As we step into 2024, it is critical to understand the financial repercussions of non-compliance.

  • If companies do not hire the required number of UAE citizens, they face a substantial financial contribution of Dh96,000 for each Emirati not employed in 2024.
  • The collection of these fines will commence in January 2025.
  • If employers fail to meet the 2025 targets, the financial contribution will increase to Dh108,000 per individual not hired, due in January 2026.

However, knowing that these fines can be significant burdens for companies, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has provided an option to pay these amounts in installment plans. Therefore, this concession allows companies to manage their finances more effectively while working towards meeting their Emiratisation targets.



To conclude, Emiratisation policies in 2024 are about growth and responsibility. Employers have clear targets to meet, with support offered through flexible payment plans for penalties. This ensures that businesses can thrive without undue financial stress while contributing to the UAE’s vision of a diversified and sustainable economy as the future of work in MENA evolves.

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