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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

Emiratisation Update: Boost your small company's team with Emirati Talent

13th July 2023


The UAE is expanding its Emiratisation strategy, requiring smaller businesses to employ Emirati nationals over the next couple of years, to further accelerate the rate at which Emirati nationals assume jobs in the private sector.

The latest announcement by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) applies to UAE mainland businesses with 20-49 employees in the following sectors:

  • Information and communications

  • Financial and insurance activities

  • Real estate

  • Professional and technical activities

  • Administrative and support services

  • Arts and entertainment

  • Mining and quarrying

  • Transformative industries

  • Education

  • Healthcare and social work

  • Construction

  • Wholesale and retail

  • Transportation and warehousing

  • Hospitality and residency services

Affected companies are required to employ one Emirati national during 2024, and to add a second Emirati national to their workforce during 2025.


Concerned companies which fail to employ one Emirati national during 2024 will be fined AED96,000 in January 2025. Any companies failing to employ a second, during 2025, will be fined AED108,000 in January 2026.


This Emiratisation announcement comes close on the heals of the semi-annual Emiratisation targets, which require companies employing 50 or more staff, to increase their Emiratisation levels for high-skilled jobs by 1% every six months (30th June and 31st December, respectively) until the end of 2026, by which time their workforce will comprise at least 10% Emirati nationals.


For details about the Emiratisation targets for companies with 50 staff or more, please refer to our previous blog article: Beat the Deadline: Discover How to Meet Emiratisation Requirements.


Where to recruit Emiratis?

Companies are encouraged to register with Nafis, which is a government programme focused on getting Emiratis into jobs in the private sector. In addition to providing a job posting platform specifically targeting Emiratis, it provides financial support programmes to assist private sector companies recruiting Emiratis, such as a salary support scheme, on the job training support, and a child allowance scheme, among others.


How Gateway Group can help you to recruit the right Emiratis for your company

Gateway provides a portfolio of assessments, workshops and coaching services to help companies achieve success through their employees, including a shortlist candidate profiling service.


Shortlist Candidate Profiling

When companies funnel prospective candidates to the last two or three people, Gateway Group’s Shortlist Candidate Profiling service will reveal the things which aren’t covered in CVs. The best Emirati candidate is matched to the job and the organisation, not just on their qualifications and experience, but on their behaviour, values, practical competencies, emotional intelligence and dimensions of thought – the things which influence your workplace dynamics. To ensure accurate results, and nothing getting lost in translation, we assess prospective candidates in their first, or preferred, language. So for assessing Emiratis, we can assess in either Arabic or English.


It addition to ensuring the best strategic fit, this service reduces long term recruitment costs as the selected candidate is more likely to remain in the post longer.

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Written by Jenny Hunt

Founder, Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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