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An Emirates Airlines plane taxis on the tarmac at the Dubai International. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Dubai’s Emirates Airline is in a big push for Emiratisation of its cabin crew, the airline’s HR head said on Wednesday.

Emirates plans to hire as many Emiratis as possible to fill up 3000 vacancies for cabin crew globally this year, Abdul Aziz Ali, executive vice-president of Human Resources at Emirates announced at a media round table on Wednesday.

Also, more than 120 job openings for ground staff in Dubai are exclusively reserved for Emiratis, he said.

On Monday, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council approved an Emiratisation plan that aims to find a job for each Emirati jobseeker in the emirate.

Although Emirates had launched its Emiratisation strategy since its inception, of the more than 100,000 employees of the company, only about 3,000 are Emiratis. The total strength of the cabin crew is 23000. However, there are only less than 50 Emiratis among them. This is mainly because of the wrong notions about the job profile, Ali observed.

Dh18,000

is the starting salary package for Emirati cabin crew

Some people perceive cabin crew as just waiters or waitresses. However, it is actually a very demanding and challenging job that requires knowledge in safety and first aid and skills in handling people, he pointed out.

“Emiratis do not want to do jobs in the low-ranking grades. That is why we are inviting them to do jobs like cabin crew and also ground staff, with attractive packages and benefits.”

“Cabin crew role provides the opportunity for Emirati men and women to act as ambassadors of the distinct Emirati culture abroad. More than just a role focused on service and ensuring safety on board, Cabin crew members are primed for long and fruitful careers within the group. The diversity [of the job profile] helps us. This is why I want to encourage Emiratisation of cabin crew.”

To inspire young Emiratis to take up this profession, the airline will be holding promotional events at schools in Northern Emirates.

Perks and packages

The perks of becoming a cabin crew will be highlighted during the events meant to raise awareness about the job category.

3,000

cabin crew vacancies globally this year in Emirates

Cabin crew salary package for Emiratis starts at Dh18,000 and includes a monthly retention allowance that ranges from Dh4000 to Dh5000. They are also provided per diem allowances, free transportation, meals and accommodation.

Those wishing to apply can visit the website link: https://www.emiratesgroupcareers.com/uae-nationals/

Recruitment takes around two weeks for Emirati staff. They undergo Cabin Crew training for about seven weeks before they commence their flying duties.

To retain and develop UAE nationals, the company conducts programmes for career development, mentoring, scholarship, and partnership programmes with government entities and key industry partners like Rollys-Royce, DHL, GE, Airbus etc.

Open budget

Ali said the CEO and Chairman of Emirates Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is also the president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, has offered an open budget for promoting Emirati talents in the company. For training alone, the company spends about Dh1million.

“This is a tremendous support from our chairman,” he said.

He added that the group is committed to training and finding work placements for UAE nationals in positions within the engineering, ground services, cabin crew, outstation management and pilot teams to prepare Emiratis for leading the expansion of Emirates’ modern fleet of over 268 aircraft.

However, he made it clear that the company adopts the same quality and standards in recruiting candidates of all nationalities.


Commercial team changes

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Mr Abdulaziz Ali, Vice President Human Resources at the Emirates Group during a media round table at the Ek Hq, Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Emirates has also announced key appointments and rotations in its global commercial operations. Effective from October 1, these changes provide career growth for UAE nationals, with 41 Emiratis holding leadership roles in the airline’s commercial team.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “The commercial organisation is responsible for delivering on our top-line results, which last year was close to Dh100 billion. It’s a testimony to the bench strength within the organisation that our key commercial roles are being filled by internal talent who bring with them deep expertise and diverse experience. I am confident that the team is well placed to deliver the best possible support to our customers, and to deliver on our business strategy, targets, and future growth.”

Emiratis occupy a large percentage of high-profile roles in the group.

The National Recruitment division in the Emirates Group is making continuous efforts throughout the year to attract citizens through regular visits to schools, universities, colleges and other educational institutions; inviting students to participate in summer training programmes; and actively participating in career fairs across the UAE.