Emiratis at the recent Ru'ya Careers UAE Redefined 2023 job fair at Dubai World Trade Centre. Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (ETCC) has announced the launch of the second edition of the Nafis Award’ for the year 2023-2024, under the slogan ‘Compete and Excel’, which has now begun welcoming nominations for individuals and establishments from the private and banking sectors.

Candidates must complete the electronic nomination form between September and end of December, and attach all the information required to conduct the evaluation process, via the award’s website.

Nominations will close on January 1, 2024, and winners will be announced by the organising committee during the award ceremony taking place in March 2024.

Two categories 

The award consists of two main categories: the establishments category and the individuals category. The award comes in cooperation with the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Programme to ensure that the categories, criteria and mechanism used for evaluation are aligned with government directives, best practice and international standards, ensuring governance in the evaluation process and promoting the concepts of institutional and individual excellence.

The Award was launched under the patronage and guidance of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, with the goal of encouraging the Emirati workforce, qualifying them to thrive and excel within the private and banking sectors, and enabling them to be the leading drivers for the UAE’s economic development.

The second edition of the Award aims to honour accomplished Emiratis working inside and outside of the country in the private, banking, insurance and financial sectors, as well as public welfare institutions and private educational institutions, in addition to the establishments registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Central Bank of the UAE.

In this year’s edition, the scope has been expanded to include individuals and establishments registered with the Central Bank of the UAE, in an effort to encourage all private, banking, financial and insurance establishments to participate in the Emiratisation drive.

The ETCC is cooperating with the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Programme in overseeing the individuals’ category of the Nafis Award, while the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Central Bank of the UAE manage the establishments category.

Expanding scope 

Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the Nafis Award is an important pillar in the Emiratisation drive, receiving the attention and supervision of the wise leadership to achieve the vision and directives to raise the participation of Emirati talent within the private sector.

“The enhancements in the award’s governance and scope expansion will continue to spotlight and reward hard-working Emiratis and private sector companies for their efforts in supporting the Emiratisation mandate, in accordance with best practices and standards, which in turn contributes to raising Emiratisation rates, encouraging the employment and upskilling of the Emirati workforce, and enhancing their competitiveness,” the minister said.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), said: “The Nafis Award comes as an important incentive to enhance and sustain the Emiratisation drive and to accelerate the achievement of its set targets, while also strengthening the contribution of the private, banking, financial and insurance sectors in this vital national mandate, which has achieved remarkable results with the support and directives of the wise leadership and under the supervision of [Sheikh Mansour].”

Emiratisation target

He added: “Through the ‘Ethraa’ Programme, which was launched in 2023, for example, we aim to employ and train 9,375 Emirati men and women by 2026-2027, to achieve an Emiratisation rate of 45 per cent in the banking sector within vital functions; 30 per cent in leadership positions in the banking sector, in addition to 30 per cent in other sectors such as insurance, banking and finance”.

Ghannam Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the ETCC and Chairman of the Award’s Organising Committee, said the Nafis Award is an extension of the vision of the Nafis Programme, which was launched as part of the ‘Projects of the 50’ in 2021 to achieve the UAE’s Vision 2071, by highlighting the outstanding establishments UAE naitonals working in the private and banking sector.