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Struggling to meet your emiratisation targets?

With 2023 just around the corner, it’s important to achieve the hiring goals so there’s no fine for your company. A fine of AED 72,000 per Emirati (annual) is what your company will pay if your Emiratisation goals are not met before January 2023.


Key Takeaways:

  • Emiratisation requires companies in UAE to hire a 2% of workforce locally on an annual basis.
  • A fine of AED 72,000 per Emirati (annual) is what companies will pay if their Emiratisation goals are unmet. 
  • According to FNC’s report – out of 800,000 jobs that can be filled by citizens, only 20 – 30,000 Emiratis are currently employed in the private sector. 
  • With Emiratisation, companies will not only meet their quotas, but also be able to attract and retain top Emirati talent
  • Public sector has better benefits, higher salaries and shorter working hours, so the private sector needs to match that. 


What is Emiratisation?

It’s true that people from all over the world are attracted to come to the UAE for work. However, the government also wants to ensure that Emiratis are included in the workforce. 

Enter Emiratisation – a UAE nationalization initiative, requiring companies in UAE to hire a 2% of workforce locally on an annual basis. By 2026, the rate is expected to reach a whopping 10% while creating 12,000 new jobs for citizens every year.

This Emiratisation initiative has been around for over a decade now, but this increased percentage of UAE nationals in the private sector workforce recently have pushed companies to revitalize their hiring efforts. 

In a tweet, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai mentioned this:


We have set a minimum Emiratisation percentage of 2 per cent annually from high-skilled jobs in establishments having more than 50 employees.”


So what does this mean for your hiring needs? 

Before we delve into that, let’s first get an understanding of what inspired Emiratisation and how it works. 


What is the background for Emiratisation?

The UAE is one of those few countries with an interesting demographic landscape. The local Emiratis are in a minority while the majority of the population and workforce is expatriates. With double-digit unemployment rates among the Emiratis, projected to increase in a few years, it made sense to launch an initiative to include and integrate more Emiratis in the UAE professional class. 

According to a report by the Federal National Council (FNC) – out of 800,000 jobs that can be filled by citizens, only 20,000 – 30,000 Emiratis are currently employed in the private sector. Report: https://gulfnews.com/how-to/employment/emiratisation-the-road-ahead-for-private-sector-1.1869180

Besides the skewed population, this discrepancy can also be attributed to Emiratis preferring the public sector to private because of better benefits.


What does this mean for your hiring efforts in the UAE?

For the employers looking to hire in 2022, Emiratisation should be up there on their agenda. You’ll be able to:

  • Meet your quotas
  • Recruit talented Emiratis that will contribute positively to the organization and the UAE economy
  • Offer career progression and start building a talent pipeline for the Emiratis
  • Attract and retain top talent


But there is a caveat. Attracting the best talent comes with its own challenges. On one hand we have the public sector ㅡ with better benefits, higher salaries and shorter working hours, and on the other hand we have the private sector that needs offer the same competitive salary and benefits. 

However, monetary benefits aren’t the only route we can take. Employers can also increase employee motivation with enabling culture, defined career progression, flexible working hours and employee engagement activities to incentivise employees to stay.


Final Thoughts

A credible talent-sourcing company can help you overcome some of these challenges in meeting your Emiratisation targets and retaining Emirati talent. Some companies have a fresh database of top Emirati talent, ready to be contacted and evaluated. With an agency, you’ll be able to quickly match shortlisted candidates to your company’s specific hiring needs. You’ll also get people who’re the right fit for your organization. 

Bayt.com is one such company that has been around as long as the Emiratisation initiative has. Get in touch with us today! If you need more guidance about hiring and what employees are thinking, read our report on UAE’s Job Index Survey.

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