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Emiratisation policies have been a topic of interest and discussion for some time now. If you’re unfamiliar, Emiratisation is about getting more UAE nationals employed in the private and public sectors.

These policies constantly evolve, so staying on top of the latest updates can be challenging. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll discuss the most recent updates on Emiratisation policies and how they impact businesses. So, let’s get started and learn all you need about Emiratisation policies in the UAE!


Key takeaways on Emiratisation policies

  1. New laws for the private sector
  2. Changes in Emiratisation laws
  3. Impact of Emiratisation on UAE business and employers
  4. Emiratisation law requirements
  5. Penalties for non-compliance
  6. Bayt’s Emiratisation program


New laws for the private sector

These laws are an element of Nafis, a “government federal program” that seeks to boost Emirati human resources’ competitiveness. It also aims to give them the tools to work in the country’s private sector over the next five years.

For Emirati people, the programme seeks to generate approximately 12,000 new work opportunities each year across all economic sectors.


Changes to Emiratisation laws

The following list also includes the modifications to the law that will take effect per the rules provided by the UAE government:

  • Emiratization in the private sector in line with Ministerial Decision No. 279 of 2022 (2% Emiratization Law)
  • Cabinet Resolution 2022-18 (Classification Law)
  • New guidelines for the Nafis program’s benefits


Impact of Emiratisation in UAE businesses

Businesses governed by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization (MOHRE) must adhere to the new Emiratization laws.

On the condition that they have at least 50 employees on their payroll, private companies must have at least 2% of Emirati employees. The UAE mainland will implement this scheme, except for a few free zones (such DIFC & ADGM).


emiratisation policies
What do you need to know about Emiratisation policies in UAE?


UAE’s 2% Emiratisation law requirements

According to the Emiratisation regulations, a private company must employ 1 Emirati for every 50 employees. Additionally, if the business employs between 51 and 100 people, it must have 2 Emiratis on its payroll and so on

Companies can therefore measure their Emiratisation rate in relation to the number of trained individuals in the organization to simplify their experience:

  • 50 skilled workers: minimum 1 Emirati employee
  • 51-100 skilled workers: minimum 2 Emirati employees
  • 101-150 skilled workers: minimum 3 Emirati employees
  • 151 & above: 1 Emirati employee for every 50 or fewer workers

Also, MOHRE defines skilled workers to be employees that:

  • Belong to any of these 5 worker categories:
    • Legislators, managers, business executives
    • Professionals in scientific, technical & humanitarian fields
    • Technicians in scientific, technical, and humanitarian fields
    • Writing professionals
    • Service & sales occupations
  • Having a secondary school certificate, its equivalent or higher
  • Relevant authority-attested worker’s certificate
  • Monthly salary of no less than AED 4,000


Penalties for not following the Emiratisation policies

The specific penalties for companies that fail to fulfill the requirements of the Emiratisation program may vary depending on the regulations and policies set forth by the government. Several fines will apply to businesses that don’t comply with the Emiratisation program requirements.

  • According to recent changes, businesses in the UAE will be subject to a minimum fine of AED 7,000 per month for each Emirati employee they fail to hire in accordance with the appropriate ratio. 
  • Beginning on January 1, 2023, this fine was enforced and will rise yearly. 
  • This implies that the sanctions will get more severe the longer a corporation refuses to comply with the Emiratisation criteria.
  • Additionally, the government might pursue additional measures against the non-compliant business. 
  • For instance, the company’s applications for work permits can be put on hold until they adhere to the Emiratisation program. 
  • The company’s operations could be seriously disrupted, and it might be harder for them to hire foreign workers as a result.
  • Furthermore, companies will be downgraded to the third category under the Classification Law if they don’t meet their Emiratisation quotas for two years in a row.


Bayt’s Emiratisation program

Employers need to stay up-to-date with the appropriate laws and regulations to ensure the smooth operation of their firm. Especially now that the UAE government has imposed fines on companies that missed their 2022 targets. 

There are new deadlines for 2023 Emiratisation targets, with bi-annual requirements. Companies are supposed to achieve 1% Emiratisation by the end of June 2023 and remaining 1% by the end of 2023.

With, you will have a partner in meeting your Emiratisation targets and have access to the largest Emirati database in the region. So, get in touch with us and steer clear of any hefty fines in the future.

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