UAE: Fines to increase annually for private firms not complying with Emiratisation

Non-compliant companies to pay Dh6,000 fine a month for every unemployed citizen, with increase of Dh1,000 per year


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Thu 12 May 2022, 6:37 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 May 2022, 10:40 PM

Private companies who do not comply with the UAE’s 2 per cent Emiratisation rate will pay heftier fines year after year, a UAE minister announced.

Detailing the UAE’s latest cabinet resolutions on Emiratsation in a media briefing, Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said private firms with 50 workers or more should have a 2 per cent Emirati workforce in high-skilled jobs, to be increased every year until a 10 per cent quota is achieved in the next five years.

Non-compliant firms will pay Dh6,000 fine a month for every unemployed citizen, which will increase by Dh1,000 every year starting from January 2023.

“If a company fails to secure a 2 per cent Emirati workforce, it will pay Dh6,000 fine every month in 2023. If the required Emiratisation rate is not achieved by the following year, the fine will increase to Dh7,000 a month,” explained Al Awar.

Fines will reach Dh10,000 a month by 2026.

On the other hand, incentives are laid out for companies with a high Emiratisation rate, including an 80 per cent reduction of the fees for issuing and renewing work permits and visas.

Earlier this week, the UAE Cabinet approved increasing the Emiratisation rate to 2 per cent annually under NAFIS programme, which aims to ensure 10 per cent of the private sector workforce are Emiratis by 2026.

Dr. Al Awar said there are currently 31,000 Emiratis working in the private sector.

The 2 per cent Emiratsation rule will require companies to hire one citizen for every 50 workers. “This is very practical and easy to achieve,” he said.

Private-sector jobs for Emiratis will, therefore, account for 12,000 jobs from the 1.2 million work permits that the ministry issues every year, added Al Awar.


He stressed that the Dh24 billion salary support schemes, pension programmes, training initiatives and unemployment benefits provided for Emiratis under NAFIS programme remove additional costs of hiring Emiratis in the private sector.

While the government sector is still the main employer for Emiratis, Al Awar said the number of citizens is expected to increase in the private sector over the coming years.

“With the technological advancements, the private sector is expected to provide new types of jobs. We want citizens to be part of this growth,” he noted.

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