UAE: Over 80,000 Emiratis now working in the private sector, says MoHRE

The number of UAE nationals employed in private companies has gone up by almost three-fold, as compared to 2018 when there were 27,055 Emiratis


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Thu 27 Jul 2023, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Jul 2023, 11:12 PM

More than 80,000 Emiratis are now working in the UAE’s private sector — thanks to the relevant resolutions, policies and programmes of the government that contributed to the evolution of the UAE labour market, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has tweeted.

According to the latest MoHRE report, the number of UAE nationals employed in private companies has gone up by almost three-fold, as compared to 2018, when there were 27,055 Emiratis in the private sector.

The spike was more pronounced in 2022, a year after Nafis — a federal government initiative aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Emiratis — was implemented. Back in 2021, there were 29,810 UAE nationals in the private sector, but their numbers almost doubled at 50,228 at the end of 2022.

Take a look at how the Emiratisation initiative has been progressing since its launch:

Last year, the UAE Cabinet issued a resolution to achieve the two per cent Emiratisation rate and also expanded the Nafis support package. These resulted in another milestone in the nationalisation programme.

Until July 26 this year, MoHRE noted that nearly 17,000 private sector companies are employing over 80,000 Emiratis, marking a 57 per cent increase as compared to figures in 2022, when 50,228 UAE nationals were employed in the private sector.

Effective policies

“The success of Emiratisation is attributed to the UAE government’s effective policies and programmes aimed at increasing the competitiveness of UAE nationals and providing them with the right tools and support to occupy skilled jobs in the country's private sector,” Farida Al Ali, assistant undersecretary for Employment of National Human Resources at MoHRE, told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

“It is also due to the active participation of the private sector – who are our partners in creating work environments that serve both nationals and expatriates,” she added.


Dubai is on top of all emirates in terms of having Emirati citizens employed in private companies.

Almost five out of 10 or 47.4 per cent of privately-employed Emiratis are in Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi at 38.6 per cent. Sharjah is in third spot at 7.1 per cent, followed by Ajman, 2.5 per cent; Ras Al Khaimah at 2 per cent; Fujairah at 1.7 per cent; and Umm Al Quwain at 0.7 per cent.

In terms of job categories, the top 10 economic activities that Emiratis are employed in include:

* Business services

* Administrative and support services

* Trade and repair service

* Wholesale and retail

* Construction

* Civil engineering

* Manufacturing industries

* Financial intermediation

* Financial and insurance activities

* Mining and quarrying

Government partners

MoHRE had earlier applauded private companies that complied with the Emiratisation programme, describing them as "partners of the government in achieving Emiratisation which is a national priority."


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