UAE Expands Emiratisation Targets for Private Establishments, Driving National Workforce Growth

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) is set to implement an expansion of Emiratisation targets for private establishments, reflecting the government’s ongoing efforts to boost the employment of Emirati nationals in the private sector. The new initiative, announced by His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, aims to further enhance the national workforce by requiring private companies with 20 to 49 employees to hire Emiratis in targeted economic sectors.

The decision to expand Emiratisation targets to smaller private establishments comes as a result of a thorough study conducted by the ministry, analyzing the economic sectors and business activities of companies in this specific employee range. The study revealed the rapid growth experienced by these establishments and their potential to provide additional job opportunities and a suitable work environment for Emirati citizens.

Under the new rules, private establishments falling within the 20 to 49-employee range will be required to hire at least one UAE citizen in 2024 and another in 2025. The objective is to increase the representation of Emiratis in key economic sectors, including information and communications, financial and insurance activities, real estate, professional and technical activities, administrative and support services, arts and entertainment, mining and quarrying, transformative industries, education, healthcare and social work, construction, wholesale and retail, transportation and warehousing, as well as hospitality and residency services.

To ensure compliance with the Emiratisation targets, establishments failing to meet the requirements will face fines. In January 2025, non-compliant companies will be subject to a yearly financial contribution of AED96,000. For those still non-compliant in 2025, a fine of AED108,000 will be imposed in January 2026. However, the ministry has allowed for payment of these fines in installments to lessen the financial burden on businesses.

Dr. Al Awar expressed his confidence in the positive impact of expanding the Emiratisation targets, stating that it will benefit both Emirati citizens and the establishments themselves. He emphasized the importance of Emiratisation in enhancing the private sector’s contribution to the national initiative, which has yielded remarkable results under the guidance of the UAE’s wise leadership and the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council.

In addition to the expansion of Emiratisation targets, the UAE government has set ambitious goals for increasing Emiratisation in the private sector. The aim is to reach a 10% Emiratisation rate by 2026, reflecting the government’s commitment to promoting a more inclusive job market and providing Emirati citizens with enhanced employment opportunities.

The new Emiratisation rules for private establishments with 20 to 49 employees run parallel to the existing policies targeting larger companies with 50 or more employees. The latter are required to achieve a 1% growth in the number of Emiratis working in skilled jobs every six months. This comprehensive approach demonstrates the government’s determination to ensure Emiratisation becomes a driving force in the private sector’s growth and development.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will inform targeted establishments through its digital channels, considering factors such as job types, work environments, geographical locations, growth patterns in economic sectors, and Emiratisation priorities. Establishments found to be circumventing or providing false information regarding Emiratisation will face fines and penalties as stipulated by UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 95 of 2022 and its amendments.

The expanded Emiratisation targets and associated fines send a clear message to private establishments in the UAE that Emiratisation is a top priority. By fostering the employment of Emirati nationals and creating a more diverse workforce, the UAE aims to build a sustainable economy that benefits both citizens and businesses. The government’s dedication to Emiratisation reflects its commitment to nurturing talent, creating job opportunities, and ensuring a prosperous future for the nation.

What is Emiratisation?

Emiratisation is a government initiative in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to increase the number of Emirati citizens employed in the workforce. The goal of Emiratisation is to ensure that Emiratis have a stake in the economy and to create a more sustainable future for the UAE.

Why is Emiratisation important?

Emiratisation is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to ensure that Emiratis have a stake in the economy and that they are able to benefit from the country’s economic growth. Second, it helps to create a more sustainable future for the UAE by ensuring that there is a skilled workforce available to meet the needs of the economy. Third, it helps to promote social stability by giving Emiratis a sense of ownership and belonging.

What are the benefits of Emiratisation for companies?

There are a number of benefits of Emiratisation for companies in the UAE. First, it can help to improve the company’s image and reputation. Second, it can help to attract and retain talented Emirati employees. Third, it can help to comply with government regulations.

What is the future of Emiratisation?

The future of Emiratisation is uncertain. However, the government is committed to increasing Emiratisation in the private sector, and it is likely that the government will continue to introduce new policies and regulations to support Emiratisation.

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