Emiratisation in UAE: Highest number of nationals are employed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), around 79,000 UAE nationals are working in the private sector


Ruqayya Al Qaydi


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 12 Jul 2023, 6:53 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Jul 2023, 11:07 PM

The private sector in the emirate of Dubai leads in terms of hiring the highest number of UAE nationals as establishments rush to bring citizens on board to meet the Emiratisation target set by the government.

According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), around 79,000 UAE nationals are working in the private sector.

Around 47.4 per cent of Emiratis are employed by private sector establishments in Dubai followed by 38.6 per cent in Abu Dhabi. They are followed by Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.

On Tuesday, the Ministry expanded the Emiratisation target to include companies with 20 to 49 employees to hire at least one Emirati in 2024.

Companies working in the 14 key sectors of information and communication, financial and insurance, real estate, professional and technical services, administrative and support services, arts and entertainment, mining and quarrying, transformative industries, education, healthcare and social work, construction, wholesale and retail, transportation and warehousing, hospitality and residency services, are required to meet the target.

As per the ministry’s data, the top fields where most Emiratis have been employed are business services, administration and support, trade and repair, wholesale and retail, construction, civil engineering, manufacturing, finance and insurance and mining and quarrying.

The Emiratisation drive has really picked since the Nafis initiative was launched by the government in September 2021.

Nafis was aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Emirati human resources and empowering them to occupy jobs in the private sector over the next five years.

The number of Emiratis in the private sector has increased from 29,810 in 2021 to 50,228 in 2022 and 79,000 as of July 7, 2023.

As per the ministry’s data, most of the citizens working in the private sector are secondary school graduates (46.4 per cent), university graduates and postgraduates (40.8 per cent) and below secondary school (12.8 per cent).

Distribution of Emirati citizens employed in private sector establishments in each emirate:

  • Abu Dhabi: 38.6%
  • Dubai: 47.4%
  • Sharjah: 7.1%
  • Ajman: 2.5%
  • Umm Al Quwain: 0.7%
  • Ras Al Khaimah: 2.0%
  • Fujairah: 1.7%

Distribution of Emirati citizens working in the top 10 economic activities in the private sector:

  • Business services
  • Administrative and support services
  • Trade and repair service
  • Wholesale and retail
  • Construction
  • Civil engineering
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Financial intermediation
  • Financial and insurance activities
  • Mining and quarrying

Source: MoHRE


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