Every Company in the UAE Will Soon Employ an Emirati

Experts in employment have indicated that with the implementation of new Emiratisation rules, the majority of companies will soon include UAE citizens in their workforce , According to the government's recent announcement, businesses with a staff count between 20 and 49 are required to have at least one Emirati employee by the end of 2024, and two by the end of 2025 .

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New Emiratisation Policies Enforce UAE Citizen Employment in Companies

Previously, this rule only applied to companies with 50 or more staff members. As of this month, Emiratis must make up 3 percent of the total workforce, with the percentage rising to 10 percent by 2026 , These new regulations have paved the way for a compulsory hiring surge in the coming months as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) strive to meet the requirements by 2024 , Dubai recruiter David Mackenzie predicts that Emirati graduates will be the ones to benefit the most from these changes. He suggests that nearly every company in the UAE will employ Emiratis in the near future, as smaller businesses seek to compete with larger companies by hiring fresh talent that does not demand exorbitant salaries , Mackenzie further emphasizes that Emirati graduates will find opportunities in start-ups and SMEs, providing them with valuable learning experiences to develop their skills.

Emirati Salary Guidelines for 2023

The new Emiratisation rules are applicable to employers in 14 sectors, including property, education, construction, and healthcare , Previously, only companies with 50 or more employees were required to participate in the Emiratisation drive, with exemptions granted to those operating in free zones , There has been no confirmation yet on whether smaller companies in free zones will also be exempt from these regulations , Nevin Lewis, the CEO of Black and Grey HR, asserts that the expansion of these rules will have a significant impact on private-sector companies in the Emirates. He believes it presents an opportunity to tap into the local talent pool, foster diversity, and contribute to the long-term socioeconomic development of the UAE , Entrepreneur Jake El Mir, who founded an eSim company with fewer than 20 employees in the country, welcomes the new regulations. He finds them practical and believes they will not impose drastic financial burdens on businesses. El Mir states that the requirements will make a meaningful difference in promoting Emirati involvement in the private sector, reflecting the government's commitment to empowering its citizens while maintaining a harmonious and diverse work environment.

Emiratisation Measures Encourage Private Sector Emirati Employment

The recent deadline for private sector firms with 50 or more employees required them to ensure that 3 percent of their workforce consisted of Emiratis , These measures were introduced to encourage Emiratis to take up skilled positions within the private sector , Announced in February, companies are required to increase the number of Emirati employees by one percentage point every six months , By the end of the year, employers must reach a 4 percent target, which increases to 6 percent by the close of 2024, 8 percent the following year, and finally 10 percent by the end of 2026 , Karuna Agarwal, director of Future Tense HR in the UAE, highlights that the new regulations also mean Emirati candidates will need to upskill to add value to small companies. Such companies often require employees with versatile skillsets who can take on multiple roles , Agarwal believes that Emiratisation for SMEs will be a game-changer for employers and job seekers alike. Previously, there was a significant influx of Emiratis in the government sector and large organizations. However, with the new regulations, Emiratis will enter the competitive and high-pressure SME space. This shift will require Emiratis to enhance their profiles and portfolios to be prepared for new roles that will enable them to secure better job offers and contribute more value to small to mid-sized companies.

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