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Emiratis may get higher pay scales in private sector

Absher initiative seeks to make private sector more attractive to UAE nationals who prefer government jobs

Image Credit: WAM
Ahmad Juma Al Za’abi | Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Attractive salaries and holidays matching those of public sector jobs are planned for UAE nationals joining the private sector in a renewed Emiratisation drive, a senior official said.

The recently launched Absher initiative will invite businesses to hire more Emiratis by offering enticing salaries and holiday packages.

Most UAE nationals prefer to work in government departments because of higher pay scales, shorter working hours, and more days off.

This has led to Emiratis being grossly outnumbered in the private sector, which provides 4,000,000 jobs.

“There’s an intention from the government to narrow this gap by synchronising salaries and days off in order to boost the morale of these [Emirati] job seekers to join the private sector,” Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs Ahmad Juma Al Za’abi said.

During Absher’s launch two weeks ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, “We would like to see [private sector’s] contribution to solving the unemployment problem amongst Emiratis to match their contribution in the country’s Gross Domestic Product”.

The development follows a campaign to make 2013 the Year of Emiratisation.

The news has been met positively by the banking sector, which has traditionally led Emiratisation.

A Central Bank official told Gulf News major banks will soon provide more jobs for young Emiratis.

“The National Bank of Abu Dhabi, First Gulf Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, National Health Insurance Company (DAMAN), Commercial Bank International, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and Union National Bank will all have current positions made available for the country’s brightest talent in the coming months,” the official said.

In a statement, the Advisory Council of the Emiratis Banks Association (EBA) said: “We at the Council also stress the need to increase the number of [Emirati] employees in the banking sector by attracting candidates from different sectors, and not to rely on hires from one bank to another.”

Meanwhile, United Arab Bank (UAB) CEO Paul Trowbridge said: “United Arab Bank offers an avenue for talented nationals to consolidate their expertise in managerial positions.

“This approach falls in line with the stated goals of the UAE government’s declaration of 2013 as the year of Emiratisation, which the authorities intend to achieve through joining forces and uniting energies of like-minded organizations like UAB as well as other private and public sector enterprises.

“The bank intends to open 10 more branches next year, all of which will be managed by UAE nationals.”

Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), had earlier told Gulf News that ADPC is working on training Emiratis to cope with market demand.

“We have arranged with the concerned authorities as well as institutes to train Emirati students in order to cope with the future market needs,”

with inputs by Samir Salama, Associate Editor


Do the math

4,000,000 private sector jobs

Only 20,000 are held by Emiratis

Public sector advantages

Higher wages (100 to 300 per cent higher)

Greater job security (50 -70 per cent higher)

Shorter working hours (20 to 30 per cent lesser)

Longer holidays (70 to 100 per cent higher or 300 per higher in banking sector which operates 6 days a week)

(Source Ministry of Labour)