UAE jobs: Emirati employees say private sector is the future

From January 1, private sector companies with 50 or more employees must ensure 2 per cent of their staff are Emiratis


Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

File photo
File photo

Published: Mon 26 Dec 2022, 9:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Dec 2022, 12:07 PM

Working in the private sector has enhanced their skills and character, and the Nafis programme has proven to be a great initiative by the government, Emirati nationals said.

Nafis, the federal programme, facilitates job opportunities for nationals in the private sector.

Some of the citizens spoke about the benefits of working in private companies.

“The private sector provides more space for creativity. It allows employees to continuously learn and develop themselves and often provides them with beneficial training sessions. It is exciting to work alongside people from different backgrounds and cultures and learn about their different views, ways of thinking and traditions,” said Aysha Naser Al Hosani from G42, who is a licensed laboratory technologist holding a bachelor’s degree from Higher Colleges of Technology.

A team shift lead in the long-read sequencing laboratory, she is part of the Emirati genome project team that is responsible for creating the first UAE mapping database that will help prevent and detect future diseases. Al Hosani pointed out that the private sector has its fair share of challenges but it has enabled her growth and self-development.

“I’ve learned that going out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself in different tasks is how you truly learn and flourish, and I think the private sector offers just that.”

Giving tips to aspiring jobseekers and those who wish to join the private sector, she said: “Never stop learning and seeking knowledge and expertise no matter how experienced you are. Be patient and never give up, as hard work will eventually be paid off.”

Ambassadors of the country

Hind Al Mansoori pointed out that the private sector gets the best out of employees.

“As the human resources manager in Mediclinic City Hospital, responsible for over 1,100 employees, my main target is to support and enable organisational efficiency through effective HR services. One of the main challenges I faced in the beginning was joining the healthcare sector for the first time right around the time we were hit by the pandemic. However, thanks to my colleagues who were very cooperative and supportive, I successfully enhanced my knowledge and skills to have a better understanding of the healthcare sector and the business goals.”


As a UAE national in the private sector, Al Mansoori advises Emirati youth to seek challenges and aim high to live-up to the image that the UAE wants to send across to nationals globally.

“Always be keen and never give up or choose the easy way. Try to challenge yourself to improve your skills and develop your knowledge. When starting a new job, remember that you are representing your country; so act professionally, and do not hesitate to ask questions if you have doubts and participate with ideas. It is always good to see initiatives and programmes that support UAE nationals and Nafis is a great initiative launched by our wise leadership.”

I benefited greatly from this opportunity

Amal Ahmed Alharbi, an electrical engineer in Trojan Construction Group, stressed how working in the private sector is vital in encouraging personal and professional growth.

“Working in the private sector really shapes your character as a person by learning to work under pressure and learning time management skills. Additionally, with the wide support system offered to UAE nationals in the private sector and government subsidies through Nafis, this sector has become our future,” Al Harbi said.

“The job variety within the private sector companies is a means of acquiring the expertise needed by today’s job market, and personally, I benefited greatly from this opportunity,” she added.

Al Harbi pointed out how she adjusted to the long working hours and new routine.

“In the beginning, I struggled with long working hours but with time I got accustomed to it and learned to better utilise my time. Working in this company has many advantages. For example, the staff here always give me the opportunity to apply what I learn and work on multiple projects at the same time to adapt to the real work environment. There is always something new to learn every day,” she said.

Reflecting on the support provided by the UAE leadership to Emiratis in the private sector, Al Mansoori added: “One of the things that have really encouraged me to head for the private sector was also the support given to UAE nationals working in the private sector, which I am truly grateful for. I would advise Emirati youth to benefit from this opportunity and from all the support given to the private sector from our government and leaders as it’s the sector of the future now.”

From January 1, private sector companies with 50 or more employees must ensure 2 per cent of their staff are Emiratis. Any firm failing to meet the target will have to pay an amount of Dh6,000 a month for every citizen who has not been employed.

Ghannam Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, said: “Today, the private sector has become as attractive as the government sector, thanks to its flexible and diverse work environment. This, coupled with investments into sectors of the future like technology sector, means that these jobs are attractive for young people with drive and passion.”

Here’s how private firms can find Emirati jobseekers

While Nafis, the federal government initiative (, is a well-known platform for employers to find Emirati jobseekers, there are other similar private job portals to find talented nationals.

Employers can either post a vacancy or find registered job seekers on portals like,,, among others.

Employers can also take part in online employment fairs to find Emirati jobseekers. They can also post vacancies on the classifieds section of online and print publications like Khaleej Times ( and Dubizzle.

More news from UAE