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Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

We live in a homeland that is always ready to embrace the challenges of the future in its march of progress. Key to this continued economic growth has been a concerted policy of diversification. The UAE’s economy is developing across broad sectors, be that trade, tourism, commerce, technology, health sciences, financial services, aviation or indeed manufacturing, natural resources and petrochemicals.

Moving forward, it’s essential that this diversification continues to deliver the results obtained so far — and key to this growth now is a policy of Emiratisation. The leadership of the UAE has long identified and promoted the concept of Emiratisation as an effective method of ensuring employment opportunities, career satisfaction, maintaining growth and building on the factors that ensure prosperity for all.

Certainly there are challenges when it comes to delivering Emiratisation and changing long-standing employment practices: ensure that every workplace and business provides meaningful opportunities to harness the talent of UAE nationals. These challenges are clear but the UAE leadership and government are determined that it will be effective and provide the opportunities for continued growth for all.

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Earlier this month, the importance of Emiratisation was raised by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In his recent letter to all officials to mark of the new season, Sheikh Mohammed reinforced the need for Emiratisation while also acknowledging that satisfaction ratings have declined. “We do hear it,” he said — a reminder that this is a nation with a transparent and flexible government.

The issue has also been raised by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, who said that institutions that manipulate Emiratisation figures are jeopardising the nation’s security and stability, adding that a new way of thinking is required as well as a new vision.

The policy has also been raised at the Federal National Council, with a call for stricter regulations. Certainly, there are factors at play that make some sectors of our economy more attractive when it comes to the effectiveness of Emiratisation — and these need to be removed to ensure that there is a level playing field for all. A disparity between public and private sector holidays has not helped in this regard. But every effort needs to be made to ensure the success of the vital national policy.