With the goal of modernization and business growth, the UAE government adopted a more flexible immigration policy which led to an increase in expatriates in the country. Consequently, expats occupied the majority of the workforce in the UAE. As per the data of Vision2021, there are only about 7-8% of Emiratis in the UAE workforce. Hence, to encourage Emirati employment in the nation, the government introduced Emiratisation in UAE in the year 1998.
What is Emiratisation in UAE?
Emiratisation is an initiative undertaken by the UAE government to increase the participation of Emiratis in both the public and private sectors. The purpose of introducing this program is to increase the number of Emirati citizens in the UAE workforce as well as their contribution to the national economy.
According to Vision 2030, Emiratisation in UAE was considered one of the main pillars of the country’s economic progress and vision success.
Emiratisation in Dubai: Development of local talent
Emiratisation seeks to use the country’s human resources most positively and productively by nurturing the skills and knowledge of the citizens. It’s a key strategy to develop local talent for both public and private sector jobs. Therefore, the government strongly supports Emiratisation initiatives by continuously investing significant resources toward achieving its strategic goals.
Emiratisation new law affirms the hiring of UAE nationals alongside expatriates in order to preserve economic sustainability and political stability, and in so doing expanding the employment opportunities for its citizens and bringing fair integration into the UAE workforce.
Objectives of Emiratisation in UAE
In order to drive creativity and entrepreneurship, there is a need to incorporate local talent alongside the expat workforce. Thus, in view of that, the UAE government implemented various laws and regulations to ensure sustainable employment and accommodation of UAE citizens and within the workforce. This would further contribute to bringing fairer employment opportunities as well as the long-term sustenance of the nation.
Empowering young talents
Emiratisation in Dubai does not just hold substantial benefits for UAE nationals, but it brings promising prospects for younger future generations of the country as well. Thus, to manifest this objective, the government initiated career awareness programs in schools and universities, internship courses for promoting industry careers, career orientation and development plans, and many other numerous efforts.
Encouraging the contribution of Emirati women in the labor force
Emiratisation also aims to bring Emirati women into employment. Women’s contribution to the UAE workforce is crucial for the strategic and economic development of the nation. Therefore, it emphasizes increasing women’s achievement in the education field and retaining women in the UAE labor market in order to gain success in accomplishing their vision.
Emiratisation seeks to promote demographic diversity by creating a culture of inclusion in the workforce. Moreover, it focuses on partnering with the private sector in efforts to increase the number of working Emiratis within the UAE.
Helping private sectors become a global and local force supporting the UAE
Emiratisation being part of UAE’s private sector is of great value. By increasing the proportion of Emiratis in the job market, they get an opportunity to be a channel of change, thereby supporting the country’s economic growth. Therefore, the private sector has collaborated with the government to know their Emiratisation potential by offering various employment programs that train Emiratis to empower their abilities and build fulfilling sustainable careers for themselves.
Find out more about the Emiratisation initiative from the skilled professionals of UAE Expansion.
New Emiratisation Rules in UAE
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) UAE made recent amendments to the Emiratisation quota obligations, effective from 1 January 2023 on all mainland registered companies, except free zone entities.
The new law states that all private sector companies with 50 or more workers must employ Emirati nationals annually by 2% to ensure that the workforce will amount to at least 10% Emiratis by the year 2026.
Nevertheless, the banking and insurance sector stay unaffected by this law, and their quota remains at 4% and 5% respectively.
A company’s quota is calculated by the size of the company and the number of skilled workers employed in it.
How to identify a skilled worker?
An individual will be considered a skilled worker if he fulfills the below pre-requisites –
- Receives a monthly salary of a minimum of AED 4000
- Possesses a high school degree or its equivalent (duly attested by the necessary authority) as a minimum qualification requirement
- Falls into any of the following categories
Professionals – Include doctors, engineers, and lawyers.
Managers and executives – Include CEOs, directors, department heads, and other individuals in senior management positions.
Technicians – Include mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and other employees with specialized technical skills.
Sales and marketing – Include sales representatives, account managers, marketing executives, and other individuals in sales and marketing roles.
Administrative and support staff – Include receptionists, secretaries, customer service representatives, and other workers in administrative and support roles.
The calculation of the Emiratisation quota will be done as below –
- 0-50 skilled workers – 1 Emirati
- 51-100 skilled workers – 2 Emiratis
- 101-150 skilled workers – 3 Emiratis
- 151 skilled workers or more – 1 Emirati for every 50 workers
Requirements to be counted in the Emiratisation Quota
- Companies must comply with all labor regulations.
- The employed Emiratis must be provided with a work permit and employment contract.
- The Emirati workers should be registered with the applicable pension authority.
- The employer must pay their workers through the Wage Protection System(WPS).
Role of NAFIS in Emiratisation in UAE
NAFIS launched on 13th September 2021, is a program aimed at training and providing Emirati nationals with the necessary tools and resources that would help them to have successful professional lives in the private sector. Be it a fresher aspiring to kickstart their career or an experienced looking for some growth in their field of work, NAFIS supports them all.
Therefore, the authorities have mandated all MOHRE-registered organizations to register with NAFIS to complete the target of creating 75,000 jobs in the private sector by the end of 2026.
Consequences of non-compliance
It is really important that companies are fully aware of Emiratisation rules in UAE and also stay up to date with any amendments made to the program. Any failure in compliance can result in fines or other penalties.
According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, non-compliant companies would be enforced a fine of AED 6,000 monthly for every Emirati that hasn’t been employed as per the quota requirement. Apart from fines, they may also be subject to visa and work permit restrictions, exclusion from government contracts, or even reputational damage within the market.
These consequences may further lead to other disruptions in the company such as inefficiency in attracting or retaining clients, recruiting employees, or making important business dealings and partnerships.
Here’s how UAE Expansion can help
The professional team of UAE Expansion will educate you about the Emiratisation requirements and help you determine which level or category your company is currently in. Moreover, it will also guide you with the steps needed to ensure that your company is fully compliant with the latest law.
For more assistance regarding the policy of Emiratisation in UAE or any other information related to business setup in Dubai, get in touch with the team of UAE Expansion.