KT Exclusive: UAE minister explains mandatory Emiratisation target, calculations, fines

Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar clarifies how private sectors companies will be monitored for compliance with rule

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Photo: MoHRE official website
Photo: MoHRE official website

Sahim Salim

Published: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 6 Dec 2022, 6:42 AM

The deadline to meet mandatory Emiratisation targets for private companies in the UAE is less than a month away. Fines for failure to achieve the target will come into force on January 1, 2023, with a Dh72,000 (annual contribution) penalty imposed for every UAE national not hired.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, told Khaleej Times that in 2022, the UAE saw a 27 per cent increase in the number of Emiratis working in the private sector compared to 2020, “which is a very promising result”.

“However, despite this success, there is still an urgent need to enhance the awareness of the partners in the private sector and encourage them to follow the Cabinet resolutions on Emiratisation to raising Emiratisation rates and avoid related fines,” the minister said in an interview with Khaleej Times.

The target explained

Dr Al Awar said companies are required to increase Emiratisation by 2 per cent annually. The target is applicable on high-skilled roles in private companies that employ 50 or more employees.

“The current target of Emiratisation rate … which is 2 per cent, is calculated as the total number of nationals working in the establishment to the total skilled employees, which means hiring one Emirati for every 50 skilled employees per annum. The government aims to achieve an increase of 10 per cent in the Emiratisation incremental rate in the private sector by 2026,” he said.

Advice to companies that are yet to meet target

The minister explained that many private companies have succeeded in achieving three times the target in less than two months after the rule went into force.

The MoHRE had in July honoured 16 companies for managing to go over and above the requirement.

“We have honoured those companies that are committed to create high-skilled jobs that enable the UAE nationals to unleash their capabilities and enhance their competencies in line with the rapid development,” he said.

When asked what advice he has for companies that are yet to meet their minimum target, Dr Al Awar said: “At the ministry, we are committed to stimulating the partnership between the public and private sectors to create job opportunities for Emiratis and advance the process of empowering Emirati talents in various areas.

“We continue our efforts to follow up on Emiratisation rates in the private sector, support compliant enterprises and apply monthly contributions (or fines) and administrative penalties for non-compliant ones.”


How ministry monitors Emiratisation

The MoHRE has a digital system to issue all work permits for employees in the private sector, including those for Emiratis.

“Linked to several government entities, the system contributes effectively towards following up on the job status of Emiratis in the private sector and collecting accurate and updated data,” the minister explained.

The UAE government aims to create more than 22,000 jobs annually for Emiratis in the private sector, effective 2023.

“We strongly believe that the increased number of Emirati talents working in the private sector will contribute to strengthening the capabilities of the national economy and supporting the growth of businesses across vital economic sectors.”

Types of roles for Emiratis

According to Dr Al Awar, private companies are encouraged to hire UAE nationals in various skilled roles that match their academic qualifications and skills.

“We are confident that the Emirati cadres are qualified enough to achieve success in various sectors, especially the priority industries and business sectors.

“With the new government initiative to increase the support for the salaries of the UAE nationals in the private sector, including banking, financial and insurance sectors, as well as free zones, the companies now have more chances to attract as many Emirati jobseekers as possible and enable them to acquire the relevant experience in different vital areas,” the minister added.

Meeting targets means benefits for firms

Complying with the UAE Cabinet's resolution to increase Emiratisation will help firms benefit from several incentives.

“This includes a membership of the Emiratisation Partners Club and upgrading their classification to the first category, which means the reduction of the MoHRE’s service fees of up to 80 per cent. In addition, there are other incentives,” Dr Al Awar said.

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