UAE: Number of Emiratis working in private sector grows by 11% in first three months of 2023

The 'remarkable' growth was hailed by MoHRE, who predict that the trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 12:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 6:28 AM

Emiratisation has continued to achieve exceptional results during the first three months of 2023, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). The first quarter of 2023 witnessed an increase of 11 per cent in the number of Emiratis employed in the private sector, compared to 2022 figures.

“More than 10,500 Emiratis have joined the private sector since the beginning of 2023, bringing the total number of Emirati employees in the private sector to over 66,000,” MoHRE said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement also pointed out that there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of private sector companies employing Emiratis in the first quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year. Also, the total number of companies hiring UAE nationals exceeded 16,000, including more than 2,000 companies that hired Emiratis since the start of 2023.

According to MoHRE, the trend is expected to continue. “We are expecting a stronger rhythm of employing Emiratis in the next two months as the deadline for achieving the 1 per cent semi-annual Emiratisation target for private sector companies with 50 employees or more will be June 30, 2023,” it said.

From the beginning of this year, it became mandatory for firms with 50 or more employees to raise their Emiratisation rate by 2 per cent of overall skilled jobs. It covers all sectors and fields of the private sector. Those failing to comply have to pay Dh6,000 per month for each Emirati who is not employed.


The Ministry’s results revealed that the five sectors that employ the most Emiratis in Q1 2023, compared to 2022, are business services. The sector saw a growth of 10 per cent. This was followed by commerce and repair services, with a growth of 13 per cent; construction with a growth of 14 per cent; financial brokerage with a growth of 4 per cent; and manufacturing with a growth of 10 per cent.

More than 5,000 Emiratis benefited from the career counselling services in the first three months of 2023.

“The UAE works on economic development through public-private partnerships and is keen to implement targeted measures to enhance the role of Emiratis in the job market, particularly in the private sector," MoHRE added.

This year, MoHRE and the Emirati Competitiveness Council (Nafis) began implementing strict fines and penalties for companies falsifying Emiratisation data. According to the rule, an establishment caught carrying out fake Emiratisation to get Nafis benefits could face a fine between Dh20,000 and Dh100,000 for each bogus Emirati employee.

It was announced on Wednesday that over 380 cases of 'false Emiratisation' have been detected to date. In January 2023, the MoHRE referred 20 firms to the public prosecution for violating Emiratisation policies last year. The Public Prosecution also ordered the imprisonment of an owner and manager of a private company for duping 296 Emiratis.

Emiratisation in numbers

  • 2,000+ companies in the private sector employed Emiratis since the beginning of 2023
  • 10,500+ Emiratis joined the private sector since the beginning of 2023
  • 66,000+ UAE nationals working in the private sector
  • 13 per cent increase in the number of private sector companies employing Emiratis in Q1 2023.


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