To overcome the structural division in the labour market, the UAE Government launched the Emiratisation (Tawteen in Arabic) campaign which mandates the inclusion of Emiratis in the job sector, particularly in the private sector. Emiratisation aims to increase the number of Emiratis in the job market and their contribution to the economy. Emiratisation will promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation. It will lead to substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
Read about Emiratisation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Application of Emiratisation
The UAE encourages the public and private sectors to implement Emiratisation policies at all levels through the establishment of a special department, quota and incentives.
Establishment of a special department
Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 also known as the Labour Law as amended mentions in its Article 10 that MoHRE will have a special department dedicated to find adequate job opportunities for nationals. The department must assist employers in fulfilling their need of national workers whenever needed.
Quota and incentives
Ministerial Orders 41, 42 and 43 of 2005 (PDF files) impose on private sector employers a quota system, whereby every company with more than 100 employees is obliged to recruit (and retain on the payroll) the stipulated number of UAE nationals to ensure the minimum percentage of participation of Emiratis in the workforce.
Companies with lower grading are required to file mandatory financial guarantees, the amount of which will depend on the category of the employer (as set out in the relevant Order).
Localisation of jobs
Following a strategic plan to promote Emiratisation, MoHRE decided to localise more jobs in the private sector. Starting from 2017, companies that are registered with Tas'heel's online services and that employ over 1000 workers would be required to hire Emirati citizens for the data entry positions.
MoHRE decided that all construction facilities with a workforce of 500 or more employees must appoint at least one Emirati occupational health and safety officer from 2017.
Initiatives for the employment of Emiratis
Absher is an initiative supervised by Ministry of Presidential Affairs and implemented by MoHRE in order to provide a decent life for UAE citizens. The aim of this initiative is to provide approximately 20,000 jobs for citizens in the coming period.
The Absher initiative compliments a number of previous initiatives launched by the federal and local governments in the UAE, such as:
These entities develop the skills of UAE nationals and prepare them for the job market. The entities also serve as recruitment agencies offering a channel for the UAE nationals and employers to reach out to each other.
Provisions for recruiting UAE nationals in the private sector
The UAE law encourages nationals to work in the private sector and applies certain provisions pertaining to this. Read more about Emiratisation resolutions: