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UAE announces revisions to Emiratisation rules

Fri 01 Dec 2023    
| 2 min read

Companies with 20-49 workers will be required to hire one UAE national in 2024 and another one in 2025.

Small businesses operating in the UAE will be required to hire a minimum percentage of Emirati employees within their workforce. The exact percentage may vary based on the nature and size of the business.

This step is expected to create around 12,000 jobs annually for UAE nationals in 2024 and 2025 in various vital economic sectors, to complement and consolidate the Emiratisation file, which is a top priority for the UAE Government.

This Resolution comes in addition to Emiratisation targets for companies with 50 or more employees that are required to achieve a 2% Emiratisation growth in skilled jobs.

Her Excellency Ayesha Belharfia, Undersecretary for Emiratisation Affairs at MoHRE, said: “We are committed to following-up the implementation of Emiratisation targets, in line with the policies and resolutions of the UAE Cabinet in this regard. To that end, we adopt an integrated system of policies, standards, regulatory tools, and partnerships to achieve our objectives, which are to empower Emirati professionals, enhance their competitiveness, and broaden their engagement in the workforce across the labour market.”

Belharfia called on the companies that are included in the Emiratisation targets following the expansion to promptly register on the Nafis platform and benefit from the support that the programme provides. “The Nafis programme supplies the private sector with qualified Emirati professionals, which makes it easier for these companies to meet their targets and thus contribute more effectively to driving Emiratisation plans forward,” she explained. “It also helps them avoid having to pay the financial contributions imposed on companies that fail to meet their Emiratisation requirements.”

The companies included in the new Resolution operate in 14 specific economic activities: information and communications; finance and insurance; real estate; professional and technical activities; administrative and support services; education; healthcare and social work; arts and entertainment; mining and quarrying; transformative industries; construction; wholesale and retail; transportation and warehousing; and hospitality and residency services.

Companies were selected according to specific criteria and data, including the quality of their jobs, the extent of their compatibility with Emiratisation goals, geographic locations, growth, and other conditions that would attract UAE citizens to work in these economic activities and ensure job continuity. The activities were also chosen based on their rapid growth rate and ability to provide jobs and a suitable work environment.

As of January 2025, a yearly financial contribution will be imposed on companies that fail to meet their requirements in 2024, amounting to AED96,000 for each UAE citizen not hired. Meanwhile, a financial contribution of AED108,000 will be imposed in January 2026 for the year 2025. Companies will be able to pay their due contributions in installments, in agreement with MoHRE.

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