UAE: Experts report spike in enquiries as private firms race to meet Dec 31 Emiratisation targets, avoid fines

Starting next year, private sector companies with more than 50 employees must meet a minimum percentage of two per cent to avoid penalties

File photo
File photo

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 8:33 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 2:40 PM

Medium to large private sector companies have put in place plans to achieve the Emiratisation target announced by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) while other firms are still struggling with appropriate staff quotas and clarifications for their Emiratisation quota.

Starting January 1, 2023, private sector companies with more than 50 employees must meet a minimum Emiratisation percentage of two per cent for skilled jobs set by MoHRE in order to avoid penalties.

The authority said Dh72,000 will be collected for each Emirati not employed starting January 2023 from non-compliant companies.

“Overall, we see progress on the Emiratisation front and expect to see more hiring in the private sector… Companies have planned out a strategy to employ and retain UAE nationals. We don't see a rush to employ them as having a good talent acquisition strategy has helped mid to large organisations to link the graduate programme with their learning and development academy,” said Vijay Gandhi, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Korn Ferry, a global management consulting firm.


Gandhi added that organisations are using learning academies to grow entry-level UAE national talent joining the workforce.

“We are witnessing hiring of nationals across hospitality, retail, real estate and e-commerce industries outside the traditional banking, semi-government and public sector,” he said.

Libbie Burtinshaw, head of operations, PRO Partner Group, said with the deadline approaching fast, they are seeing an increasing number of enquiries and clients requesting feedback on appropriate staff quotas and clarification of their Emiratisation requirements.

She added that the threshold has been set at two per cent for commercial entities with more than 50 employees, four per cent for banks and five per cent for insurance companies with more than 50 employees. Free zone firms are exempted from this new ruling as of now.

“Emiratisation staff quotas will need to be met before the start of the new year so making sure your company is meeting the requirements is essential. Failure to do so will result in fines,” she added.

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