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Private sector hires close to 30,000 Emiratis

A photo of young and smiling Arab businesswoman gesturing while giving presentation. Emirati business people are wearing traditional clothes of those and abaya. Multi-ethnic colleagues are listening to her very carefully. All are in brightly lit office.

Some 28,700 Emiratis have taken jobs at private companies since the launch of the Nafis employment programme, figures released this week show.

More than 17,000 jobs have already been posted on the Nafis (Emirati Talent Competiveness programme).

Fines of Dh14 million have already been issued to companies that failed to meet the 1 January deadline to meet Emiratisation targets.

Any employer that had not reached the quota by 1 January had to pay a fine of Dh72,000, equivalent to Dh6,000 a month for every month of 2022.

That means some 194 – 195 companies are likely to have been fined so far.

The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council said 8,897 companies had met the deadline.

Diana Wilde, co-founder of Aurora50, says the benefits of developing inclusive organisations, that also provide opportunities for Emiratis, is “clear”.  

“We have 200+ nationalities in the UAE but still need to be connected to the local population, to create solutions that resonate with everyone,” she says.

“This should mean companies innovate while leveraging local knowledge – a win- win.” 

Emiratis being hired into private-sector jobs are entitled to salary top-ups under Nafis, as they generally earn more in the public sector.

Private-sector employers must now hit an Emiratisation target of four percent by 1 January 2024, rising to 10 percent by the end of 2026.

By then, the government expects 10 percent of all staff to be UAE citizens, in line with Nafis‘ goal to create more than 12,000 job opportunities each year for UAE citizens.

[AIM is Aurora50’s training accelerator to develop senior managers, while Table Talks helps businesses to take a pulse check of how their employees feel about diversity, equity and inclusion in their organisation.]  

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