UAE announces fines for private companies that don't meet new Emiratisation target by July 1

Firms are now required to increase the number of their Emirati employees in skilled roles by 1 per cent every six months


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 7 Feb 2023, 2:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Feb 2023, 3:51 PM

The penalties for private companies that fail to meet Emiratisation targets under the amended scheme will now be imposed 'semi-annually', not at the end of the year, a minister said on Tuesday.

Firms that don't achieve the 1 per cent Emiratisation target growth by July 1 will be fined Dh7,000 for each UAE national who has not been hired.

The fines are not new, according to Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation. It is the process of implementing the Emiratisation scheme that has been revised.

"The implementation of fines (on firms that don't meet targets) is semi-annual now — instead of waiting until the end of the year as was the case before," Al Awar told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a media briefing during which he elaborated on the changes that were made to the Emiratisation drive.

Violating companies will be charged from July 1, and the penalties for non-compliance from 2022 will continue to be collected.

Private firms are now required to increase the number of Emiratis in skilled jobs by 1 per cent every six months, while remaining on track to achieve the overall 2 percent target by the end of the year.

The amendments do not include any additional requirements or penalties for companies, the minister clarified.

“The ministry wants to check on the companies that have achieved the Emiratisation targets by mid-year. The fines and the Emiratisation targets have remained the same, but it’s only the process of implementation and monitoring which has changed," he said.

This step ensures the continuity of the Emiratisation drive all year round, in line with the directives of the UAE Government.

The UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) is clamping down on violating companies, with Dh400 million worth of fines issued in 2022.

Emiratisation is yielding promising results for the country: There has already been a 70 percent increase in citizens working in the private sector in 2022, compared to figures in 2021.


"Supporting Emirati talent is a priority, in line with the vision of the nation’s wise leadership to provide a decent living to its people, boost their quality of life, and enhance the job opportunities available to them. This is evident in the exemplary results achieved by Nafis in 2022, which through the amended mechanism, the ministry aims to support in balancing the pace of job-seekers registering and the job opportunities being offered via Nafis’ platform," Al Awar said.

“The private sector has proven itself as a credible partner, and we are confident that the new amendments will reflect positively on the existing cooperation,” he added.

Companies that already exceed the mandated Emiratisation quota can expect financial discounts to help sustain growth.

About 9,293 companies had achieved their targets for the year. More than 50,000 Emiratis are now working in the private sector, with 28,700 having joined since the launch of the ‘Nafis’ programme.

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