UAE aims for 10 percent of private sector workforce to be Emirati with multi-billion dollar reforms

UAE aims for 10 percent of private sector workforce to be Emirati with multi-billion dollar reforms
The rule, which will only apply to skilled labour positions, was announced on Sunday alongside other government initiatives to increase private sector opportunities for Emiratis
3 min read
13 September, 2021
Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum announced the new initiatives on Sunday [Getty]

The UAE announced on Sunday a 10 percent Emiratisation target for the private sector, as part of the government's economic reforms.

The rule - which will only apply to skilled labour positions - will be enforced over the next five years, beginning with a 2 percent requirement for the first year of its implementation.

The government hopes to reach the 10 percent target by 2026, report Emirates News Agency.

The UAE is seeking to see a rise in the number of Emiratis in the private sector to ease pressure on government finances.

Many Emiratis currently seek work in the public sector, where there are lucrative salaries and terms of employment, but at huge cost for the UAE government.

Other government efforts to increase Emiritasation in the private sector were also announced on Sunday.

An investment of 24 billion dirhams ($6.5 billion) was announced to create 75,000 private sector jobs for Emiratis.

The reform programme will be managed by the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, a newly created body chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Students and fresh graduates will also have opportunities to apply for grants if they enter the private sector with a 1 billion dirham ($270 million) graduate business development fund unveiled.

Also announced was an Emirati Salary Support Scheme, giving one-year salary support of up to 8,000 dirhams ($2,178, a month) to Emiratis to encourage their entry into the private sector.

The Merit Programme will also grant a 5,000 dirhams ($1,361) monthly top-up to Emirati workers in specialised fields such as nursing, accountancy, and commercial law.

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As he announced the new initiatives, Vice President, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum stated "our people are our pride and our future, and we are investing to build the ideas and aspirations of our youth to create new futures in our successful business, trade and knowledge economy".

In a tweet on Sunday, Al-Maktoum said "today we have clear and supported goals for the percentage of citizens in the private sector, the future is in the private sector".

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan promised a "decent life" for citizens and future generations, saying it was the UAE's "greatest priority".

Al-Nahyan explained that "working with the private sector to enhance career prospects is the way to ensure those opportunities endure for decades to come", report Emirates News Agency.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohmamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said strong participation of Emiratis in the private sector will be key to future growth.

He said: "Empowering people is at the core of our plans for the future", as he iterated his belief in the determination of Emirati's "to build the region's most competitive economy".

The projects announced form part of the country's "Projects of the 50" initiative, which mark the 50th year of the unification of the Emirates, ahead of it's National Day in December.