UAE's Emiratisation drive: Here's how much salary professionals earn

Emirati talent has increased significantly in recent years due to the ongoing educational initiatives by the government


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Fri 18 Nov 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 18 Nov 2022, 2:02 PM

The UAE government has accelerated the Emiratisation drive making it mandatory for private sector companies to increase the number of UAE citizens in their workforce. Firms with over 50 employees must have two per cent of skilled employees from the local community; otherwise, violators will be penalised from January 2023.

In fact, the MoHRE and the Emirates Competitiveness Council have already started implementing fines and penalising companies for falsifying Emiratisation data.

Grace Eldridge, business manager for Emiratisation, Hays Middle East, says the availability of Emirati talent has increased significantly in recent years, thanks to the ongoing educational initiatives by the government. But there remains a shortage of skilled national talent.

"(It's) a key challenge cited by many of the employers we speak with when it comes to hiring. With demand for UAE nationals expected to pick up this year, this challenge is likely to continue," she said in the latest report on Emiratisation.

Eldridge added that firms should consider hiring more candidates at a graduate level and implement specific learning and development programmes to upskill them for the business's future success.

"Different from previous years, we are seeing an increasing number of jobs available to UAE nationals within senior leadership positions due to the latest decrees," Hays said in its latest Emiratisation Salary Guide 2022.


In terms of salaries, the Emiratisation Salary Guide 2022 revealed that the majority, 59 per cent, of UAE nationals' salaries remained the same in 2021 as in 2020, it increased 32 per cent, and 9 per cent saw drop in salary.

The survey found that 50 per cent of UAE nationals anticipated a pay increase in 2022, while 48 per cent remained the same as in 2021 and two expect a decrease.

Released by Hays, below is a salary guide to help companies to employ the UAE national and meet the Emiratisation target:


Position Salary in dirhams (private sector, monthly)
Head of internal auditDh70,000-90,000
Audit managerDh55,000-70,000
Audit specialist/associateDh20,000-30,000


Finance directorDh55,000-75,000
Financial controllerDh60,000-65,000
Finance manager Dh40,000-50,000
Senior accountantDh23,000-35,000
Accountant Dh20,000-28,000

Human resources

Chief HR officer Dh80,000-110,000
HR director Dh55,000-75,000
HR, recruitment managerDh40,000-55,000
HR specialist Dh30,000-45,000
HR AssistantDh20,000-28,000


Chief legal officerDh80,000-120,000
Head/director of legalDh70,000-80,000
Legal advisorDh40,000-50,000
Paralegal Dh25,000-32,000
Legal secretary Dh20,000-30,0000

Marketing & Communication

VP/chief marketing officerDh80,000-110,000
Digital marketing directorDh75,000-85,000
Head of digital Dh50,000-65,000
Marketing managerDh45,000-55,000
Social media manager Dh25,000-32,000
Marketing specialist Dh20,000-30,000

Administration/office support

Officer managerDh30,000-35,0000
Executive assistantDh25,000-30,000
Personal assistantDh20,000-30,000
Admin assistantDh18,000-25,000


Sales directorDh60,000-75,000
Head of sales Dh55,000-75,000
Sales manager Dh40,000-60,000
Sales executiveDh20,000-40,000


Chief technology officer Dh85,000-130,000
IT director Dh60,000-75,000
IT manager Dh40,000-55,000
Senior IT engineer Dh30,000-45,000
IT officer Dh20,000-28,000


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