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UAE’s Latest Update on Private Sector Emiratization

Emiratization in UAE

UAE’s Latest Update on Private Sector Emiratization

Approximately 62% of Emiratis say it is difficult to get job in the private sector. However, just 7.6% of Emiratis work in the UAE. The UAE government adopted emiratization to solve this problem. It is part of a larger company restructuring and growth effort. According to the recently announced Emiratization initiative, 75,000 Emiratis are expected to work in the private sector by 2026.

So, what is Emiratisation? And how is it affecting the corporate sector? Read the article for more information!

Emiratisation Rules in the UAE

Emiratisation in the UAE is a government-led scheme that requires Emiratis to work. Its purpose is to increase the number of Emiratis in the UAE’s labor force and their economic contribution.

While the government has been very supportive of the endeavor, Emiratis are still employed in the private sector. A new cabinet resolution now compels UAE nationals to work in the private sector to resolve the issue.

To encourage compliance with the UAE Emitarisation Law, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classifies businesses into three tiers.

Category 1: Companies Achieve Emiratisation Objectives

Companies in Category 1 must achieve at least one of the following objectives:

  • Every year, we employ and train at least 500 Emiratis.
  • Increase their Emiratisation quotas by at least three times the target each year.
  • Be a small or medium-sized business run by a young UAE native.
  • Participate in sectors specified by the Council of Ministers.
  • Become a reputable training and employment facility.

As a reward, the MoHRE will charge up to AED 250 for work licenses valid for more than two years. Employees from the UAE and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will not be charged this cost.

Category 2: Companies that meet the 2% Emiratisation Quota

Companies in this category, although failing to meet the criteria in category 1, continue to adhere to the 2% annual Emiratisation quota. The classification is based on how well they adhere to labor laws, wage protection mechanisms, and other regulations. Smaller classes (A, B, C, or D) are based on skilled worker ratio and commitment to diversity.

The MoHRE charges AED 1,200 for these businesses’ two-year work permits. Employees in the UAE or GCC, on the other hand, will be exempt from the costs.

Category 3: Establishments that fall below the Emiratisation Quota

This category includes companies that do not satisfy the Emiratisation quota or violate any other regulations outlined in Ministerial Resolution No. 209. For example:

Ministerial Resolution No. 209
  • Hiring people without a work permit.
  • Providing fraudulent data, papers, or information to the ministry.
  • Violations of workers’ salaries, safety, and housing regulations.
  • Carrying out false Emiratisation tactics.

Emiratisation is about assisting locals to advance in their jobs, develop critical skills, get valuable experience, and understand how businesses operate. The UAE government encourages young Emiratis to push themselves and become qualified professionals who can compete globally.

Effect of the Emiratisation Rule on UAE Businesses

Emiratisation in the UAE reduces reliance on foreign labor while promoting long-term economic self-sufficiency. An engaged local workforce contributes significantly to economic diversity and innovation. It also ensures a sustainable future for UAE businesses. 

The Emiratisation program targets private-sector enterprises and individual associations with a workforce of 20 to 49 employees. It encompasses a broader variety of economic activities than the previous legislation governing businesses with 50 or more employees.

Private firms in the following industries that meet the specified employment threshold must follow the new rules:

  • Information & Communications
  • Construction
  • Financial and insurance businesses.
  • Real estate is a transformational industry.
  • Professional and Technical Activities.
  • Wholesale and retail.
  • Administrative and supportive services.
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Warehouse and Transportation
  • Mining, education, hospitality, and residential services are all examples of industry sectors.
  • Health and Social Work

The UAE Emiratisation Act encourages UAE businesses to create inclusive work environments that are consistent with local values. Integrating individuals into the workforce brings new perspectives and strengthens relationships. The projected increase in women in higher-level positions contributes to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Emiratisation is having a big impact on the UAE job market. The strategy initiative actively involves Emiratis and encourages an equitable workforce across industries.

The prerequisites Emiratisation is outlined in the UAE at 2%.

The 2% Emiratisation rule pertains to the business sector, namely firms formed across the mainland UAE. The UAE has expanded its local workforce by modifying Emiratisation regulations to encompass private firms employing 20 to 49 individuals. The aim for Emirati employment is 6% in 2024, 8% in 2025, and 10% in 2026.

Every company with more over 50 workers must increase its Emiratisation rate by 2% of skilled individuals every year. Private sector firms must comply with the new Emiratisation Law by implementing the following scheme:

For every 50 competent persons, the minimum aim is to engage one UAE local employee.

For 51-100 suitable candidates, the minimum aim is to acquire two UAE local workers.

For 101-150 eligible professionals, the minimum goal is to acquire three UAE-born workers.

For every 151 employees, one UAE local should be hired for every 50 workers.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) defines skilled workers as persons with any of the following qualifications:

  • Having a qualification higher than secondary or comparable.
  • Have a worker’s certificate attested by a relevant authority.
  • Having a monthly salary of at least AED4,000.
  • Legislators, corporate executives, and managers are among those who are affected.
  • Writing professionals

Technical, scientific, and human field specialists, as well as service and sales professionals, are all viable career alternatives.

The UAE Council of Ministers releases directives imposing a quota system on businesses, mandating them to hire a specified number of Emirates to guarantee they account for at least a particular percentage of the workforce. The current Emiratisation thresholds in the private sector are:

Commercial enterprises employing more than 50 people should have a 2% emiratisation rate.

Banks should have a 4% Emiratisation rate.

Insurance firms with more than 50 workers should maintain a 5% Emiratization percentage.

Businesses must grow by 1% every six months to achieve these requirements. Companies in free zones such as ADGM and DIFC are not required to observe these restrictions. They are invited to contribute if they identify acceptable Emirati talent.

The Penalties Under the New Emiratisation Rule, UAE

Noncompliance with Emiratisation regulations carries substantial consequences for UAE employers. 

Here are some of the repercussions that firms face when they violate the established rules:

Fines and penalties.

Establishments that do not adhere to the new requirements will risk fines.

AED 96,000 if they don’t recruit at least one Emirati by 2024.

AED 108,000 if they don’t recruit at least two Emiratis by 2025.

Failure to pay the penalty may result in a suspension of your ability to apply for or renew work permits. Employers in the commercial and public sectors should carefully consider the consequences of sacking a UAE national, which might include hefty financial penalties.

Legal action.

The UAE government takes legal action against companies that use fake Emiratisation tactics. It may lead to costly legal battles and have an impact on a company’s profitability and reputation.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation seized Dh2.3 million from those who accepted fraudulent employment offers. Despite financial incentives, the Ministry advises individuals to be wary of unethical offers and stresses the need of true compliance.

Reputational Damage

Neglecting Emiratisation or faking compliance can severely limit a company’s development prospects. Noncompliance can damage confidence between consumers, partners, and stakeholders. It may lead to lost commercial opportunities and a decrease in market share.

There are few prospects for advancement. When businesses are declared non-compliant, particularly with fake Emiratisation, their reputation suffers greatly. The media routinely highlights examples of noncompliance, such as a well-known UAE construction company facing a substantial fine for deploying ghost labor to fulfill Emiratisation regulations, incurring considerable reputational damage. 

 Wrapping Up

Companies must assess their current employment numbers to ensure they are meeting the standards. If forced to comply, one must select whether to follow the new standards for companies with 20 to 49 employees, as explained above, or the prior laws for businesses with 50 or more employees.

It is vital to keep track of the number of UAE residents employed by your organization and have a system in place to monitor resignations. It ensures that the rules are applied consistently.

Wolf Documents is here to assist you get a new business license or stay up to speed on the latest Emiratisation Law in the UAE. We have been a reliable partner for UAE companies, aiding entrepreneurs and business owners in navigating processes that would help them thrive.


1. What is the definition of Emiratisation in the UAE?

Emiratisation is a key policy of the United Arab Emirates. It encourages Emirati citizens to contribute to social and economic development. The project seeks to promote work possibilities and professional development for Emiratis in their home country.

2. What is the Emiratisation quota in the UAE?

Emiratisation is a key policy of the United Arab Emirates. It encourages Emirati citizens to contribute to social and economic development. The project seeks to promote work possibilities and professional development for Emiratis in their home country.

3. What is the Emiratisation quota in the UAE?

The UAE’s emiratisation quota is continuously increasing. Current thresholds are:
Commercial organizations with over 50 employees pay 2%, banks 4%, and insurance companies 5%.

4. What is the Emiratisation aim for 2024?

Every six months, enterprises must grow their Emirati workforce base by 1%. As a result, businesses must meet a 4% objective by the end of the year, increasing to 6% by 2024.