Dr. Abdulrahman Abdulmannan Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, (centre) addresses the press conference along with other officials in Dubai on Thursday. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Dubai: Around 3,000 private companies in the UAE risk getting Dh84,000 fine per Emirati not employed by the end of 2023, it was revealed on Thursday.

A top official also revealed that the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council’ Nafis programme for 2023 aims to create at least 24,000 new job opportunities for Emiratis in the private sector.

Companies with 50 skilled employees or more are required to have four per cent Emiratis in their workforce by the end of this year as against the two per cent target set last year.

Those who missed the 2022 target would see the annual fine of Dh72,000 per each Emirati not hired getting hiked to Dh84,000 if they fail again to meet the new target for 2023, the UAE’s Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Dr. Abdulrahman Abdulmannan Al Awar, said at a press conference in Dubai.

“The [Emiratisation] policy is very reasonable,” he said. “The policy is targeting only companies who have 50 and more staff and we target two per cent of their skilled employees. So, if you have 1000 employees, you are within the target. And if you have only 100 of them skilled and 900 non-skilled, your target is to employ just two nationals,” he explained.

“It’s very reasonable. In 2022, we were very happy to see that our policy was reasonable and it was achievable. The market had grown significantly in 2022 and the UAE labour market will continue to grow,” he pointed out.

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24,000 new jobs for Emiratis

The minister announced that the Nafis Programme aims to introduce 24000 new jobs for Emiratis in 2023.

Speaking further on this, Ghannam Al Mazrouei, secretary general of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, said: “While the results of Nafis exceeded expectations last year, we hope that it will have a greater and deeper impact in 2023. The Emiratisation targets in the private sector, which were adopted by the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council during its meeting for 2023, are looking forward to creating at least 24,000 new job opportunities for Emiratis in various sectors.”

The Emiratis in the private sector work mainly in clerical jobs and other jobs related to scientific, technical and humanitarian fields in addition to service and sales professions. They also serve as specialists, legislators and managers. Many UAE citizens also work in various vital sectors including financial intermediation, business services, manufacturing industries, construction, trade and repair services.

On Wednesday, the ministry had stated that a total of 28,700 Emiratis were recruited in the private sector since the launch of the Nafis programme. This has contributed to recording an unprecedented increase of 70 per cent in the number of Emiratis working in the private sector, totalling more than 50,000 Emiratis.

Where Emiratis work

Al Mazrouei said that the number of beneficiaries of financial support programmes amounted to 32,566 Emiratis. He pointed out that the success in the healthcare sector was one of the most prominent achievements of the programme, with the inclusion of 1,300 male and female students in the health sector cadre development program and 643 trainees through the Kafaat program.

He added: “Over the past year, the successful process of building data on the Nafis platform continued to become an integrated window for the business environment in the country. The number of partners registered on the Nafis platform reached 7,017 companies, while 17,481 job vacancies were offered through the platform, in addition to signing 24 agreements with strategic partners, including six agreements with participating universities within the healthcare sector support programme and four agreements with strategic partners in the semi-governmental sector to provide more than 11,000 jobs through outsourcing companies and suppliers.”

Responding to questions from the media, the minister clarified that educational institutions such as schools are not exempted from implementing the Emiratisation strategy.

Al Awar said that the results of the Nafis programme, which exceeded expectations, were the result of an integrated strategy in the business environment in the UAE, developed by the Council headed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, which ensured the development of talents and the creation of qualitative and sustainable jobs for Emiratis in the private sector, which in turn benefited from supportive policies that helped the sector achieve significant economic growth.

Boosting private sector’s charm

The minister also pointed out that strategies of Nafis “Increased the private sector’s attractiveness for the Emiratis and resident talents alike, encouraged the launch of new economic sectors, revitalized individual initiatives and small and medium enterprises, and provided the Nafis programme with an integrated environment that enables it to achieve its goals and create a better and more sustainable future for thousands of Emirati talents and their families.”

Noting that the rapid growth in the number of Emiratis joining the private sector was accompanied by a strong growth recorded by the sector, Al Awar said “the distinguished results achieved by the Nafis program with the cooperation and response of the private sector were accompanied by the strong performance of the country’s economy in 2022.”

“We look forward to a new year of achievements that embody the directives of the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who affirmed that the UAE’s people are the focus of the country’s attention and at the top of its priorities since its inception, and it will remain the basis of all its plans for the future,” the minister added.

Al Awar added that the ministry would hold a special ceremony to honour the companies that excelled in implementing the Emiratisation targets.

On Wednesday, it was announced that the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) had issued fines amounting to Dh400 million against private companies that failed to meet Emiratisation targets of 2022. As many as 9,293 companies achieved their targets for 2022 by employing two per cent Emiratis in skilled roles, it was announced.