UAE’ “Emiratisation” Policy: Insight into Employment Strategy

Unemployment is when the person of eligible age to earn (generally 15) is not having a paid employment due to a shortage of employable jobs in the country.

After seeing its country suffer under unemployment UAE rulers and Prime Minister launched Emiratisation Act in the Year 2010 under the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation (MOHRE). This would end up eradicating the unemployment issue to a substantial level and become part of UAE Vision 2021 to develop skills full and innovative nationals. The question could be raised here:

  • What is UAE’S Emiratisation Policy?
  • How Emiratisation Policy helps in Unemployment issues?
  • What we can learn from the policy and process of implementing it in our nation?
  • What all issues HR must look out for while raising employment?

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched an initiative marked as “Emiratisation”, which focussed on employing UAE emirates on priority. This policy is the UAE government’s decree that whenever any job vacancy needs to be filled in the Middle-East region, UAE citizens who are falling ineligible category and equally skilled for the job to be given priority over foreign nationals. This policy was a mandate and UAE’s both private and public sector was asked to adopt it.

To strengthen “Emiratisation”, many initiatives are included within this policy such as Emirates National Development Program (ENDP), Tawteen UAE, and Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council. Where all these initiatives are developed to provide more efficiency to the native citizen.

To learn in detail about all policies covered under “Emiratisation”, go through the main policy site of the UAE Government-https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/laws-legislation/emiratisation-laws.aspx

Emiratisation is crucial for future generations, particularly in countries where the number of expatriates outnumbers the number of citizens. Although most UAE residents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have excellent educational backgrounds, they are having difficulty finding work in the current market. Thereby, UAE is more focused to give value to Emiratisation Initiative and that is why the country’s administrative body has made it a policy to connect with significant stakeholders to provide Emiratis with a variety of job options. This significant stakeholder could be:

  1. National Recruitment agencies
  2. Top Private companies
  3. Influential HR managers of big MNCs
  4. Outsourcing agencies in UAE
  5. Foreign firms set up in UAE market, etc.

Extend of Employment security to the citizen under Emiratisation

The Emiratisation Policy, as announced by the UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, states that it is illegal to fire UAE nationals under the following circumstances:

  1. The corporation has fired an Emiratisation for reasons unrelated to employment, particularly when the UAE citizen has demonstrated a solid logical argument against the employer.
  2. The UAE national has been fired, and a foreign applicant has been hired to take his place.
  3. The company or recruiter now has a foreign employee whose responsibilities are similar to those of the UAE native who was sacked.

These 3 rules help the native citizen with securing safety in their job. All employers and organizations are mandated within 3 terms and it’s not easy to dismiss an Emirate from its job in UAE as these terms are legally binding on all parties.

Rising issues/challenges

Many businesses have stated that finding and attracting the top Emirati talent is quite difficult. Despite a large number of job seekers, companies are having difficulty locating candidates with the necessary skills and abilities.

One of the most striking things is that Emirati job seekers are very brand conscious. They aspire to cooperate with businesses and have a better brand reputation. Emiratis are always looking for organizations with consistent development and training programs, as well as demonstrable success stories.

The following issue could hinder and raise challenges for the private and public sector for any country, who are thinking of adopting a similar strategy. The native employee might not be willing to work in the organization and might choose to apply for jobs in foreign organizations that offer better employment terms if they find the following culture in the company:

  1. Prospective candidates only trust big brand brands and thus do not apply to local start-up firms.
  2. There is no established culture for professional coaching.
  3. Insensitivity to managing cultural diversity
  4. Persistent pressures in one’s personal life
  5. There is no performance-based philosophy.
  6. Odd uniform attires mandated to wear in the workplace and odd working shifts
  7. Collaboration and teamwork not present in the organization
  8. Managerial and leadership attitudes that are negative
  9. High competition amongst workers in the organization
  10. Lack of employee development programs in the organization.

Recent Development

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (“MOHRE”) recently issued new implementation rules under “Tawteen Emiratisation Programme”, under which all UAE based organization and employers must confirm that no UAE national citizen that is registered in Tawteen center unemployment registry have been provided job role, With two noteworthy exceptions: free zone firms and offshore corporations operating in the UAE, the new laws apply to all firms registered in all Emirates of the UAE, regardless of their corporate form, business, or several workers. The MOHRE also maintains the ability to offer other exclusions on a case-by-case basis, as explained further below.

The process 

Any employer wishing to apply for an expatriate work visa must first announce an “Open Day”. UAE’s ministry of human resource and Emiratisation would then schedule a day for several non-native candidates to be interviewed. Employers must designate a designated employment officer to conduct interviews and make recruitment-related decisions.

It is binding upon the employer to categorize interview prospects as: “shortlisted, “selected”, “rejected” during the said open day itself.

  • The candidate will be considered selected only if he completes the recruitment process in Tasheel center
  • Shortlisted candidates recruitment decision to be finalized within 10 days from an open day
  • Employers need to provide a valid reason for rejection for the open vacancy. If the reason is valid and approved, Tawteen center will move that vacancy open for expatriate employees.

Exception –The process comes with an exception to foreign organizations set up in UAE that wishes to appoint employee from the home country in UAE based branch given employee can comply with following requirements:

  1. Copy of commercial license for UAE branch
  2. A letter from the Dubai branch requesting an exemption is included.
  3. A copy of the employee’s passport
  4. Employee’s proof of residence in the foreign nation
  5. A foreign company’s employment contract/offer letter to the individual on his or her potential employment in the Dubai branch.

The Bottom Line

It’s a strong belief that organization would flourish in the global economy, by having diversity in the workforce from different nations, but when we see a nation fighting unemployment surge, extending a hand to employ native citizen could be set as a priority until the substantial period till at least 40% of the issue is settled.

Every nation without a doubt implements the best policy for their citizen, but we can learn a few things from UAE’s Emiratisation Policy and its robust scheme to scrape out the unemployment issues from the country!

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