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Empowering UAE Nationals: Unlocking New Career Opportunities through Emiratisation

Emiratisation is a UAE government initiative to reduce reliance on foreign workers by integrating Emirati nationals into the private sector. It aims to enhance Emirati participation in key industries, improve their skills, and increase their workforce representation, contributing to economic diversification and social stability. The program’s goals include boosting Emirati employment, providing necessary skills for global competitiveness, and addressing demographic challenges. Key strategies involve work placements, English language training, career development pathways, mentoring, and government incentives for private sector employers. Despite these efforts, challenges such as cultural barriers, lack of awareness, competition from expatriates, and limited job opportunities persist.

Understanding Emiratisation

Emiratisation is a strategic initiative by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to increase the employment of UAE nationals in the private sector. This initiative aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign labor and promote economic growth and sustainability by fostering a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Key Policies and Initiatives Supporting Emiratsation
  • The UAE government has implemented the Emiratisation Law, which requires private companies to set goals for hiring and training UAE nationals. This law aims to increase the employment of Emiratis in the private sector.
  • The Nationalization Program provides financial incentives and other benefits to employers who meet Emiratisation targets. This program aims to encourage private companies to hire and train UAE nationals.
  • The government has launched various training programs to enhance the skills and competitiveness of UAE nationals. These programs aim to prepare Emiratis for the job market and make them more marketable.
  • The government promotes high-skilled industries and encourages young Emiratis to participate in vocational and technical education. This aims to increase the number of Emiratis in the workforce and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign labor.
Government Incentives for Companies Hiring UAE Nationals
  • Financial Incentives.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance.
  • Specialized Training Centers.
  • Vocational Qualifications.

By understanding Emiratisation and its key policies and initiatives, companies can better navigate the requirements and incentives for hiring UAE nationals.

The New Emiratisation Law

The UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) mandated that private companies with 20 to 49 employees must hire one UAE national by 2024 and another by 2025.

The key points about the new Emiratisation laws in the UAE for 2024 are:

  • The scope of Emiratisation has been expanded to include private businesses with 20-49 employees, who must now hire at least one Emirati, increasing to two by 2025. Previously, the requirement only applied to companies with 50 or more employees.
  • The new laws target 14 key sectors for Emirati employment, including real estate, finance, healthcare, IT, and communications.
  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) is actively monitoring compliance through inspections and penalties for breaches.
  • Companies with over 50 employees must achieve an annual 2% increase in the number of Emirati nationals employed. The specific requirements are:
  1. 50 employees: minimum 1 Emirati
  2. 51-100 employees: minimum 2 Emiratis
  3. 101-150 employees: minimum 3 Emiratis
  4. Over 151 employees: 1 Emirati per 50 workers.

Penalties for non-compliance include fines starting at AED 100,000 for the first violation, increasing to AED 300,000 for two consecutive years and AED 500,000 thereafter. Other penalties include bans on government tenders, license cancellation, and work permit suspension.

Job Opportunities for UAE Nationals

Several sectors in the UAE have a high demand for UAE nationals, including finance, healthcare, and technology. The financial sector requires nationals in roles such as accountancy, banking, and financial analysis. In healthcare, there is a significant demand for UAE nationals in nursing, medicine, and healthcare management. The rapidly growing technology sector also seeks nationals for positions in software development, data analysis, and IT management.

Specific job roles targeted for Emiratisation include receptionist, recruitment officer, technology leader, proposal engineer, and scrum manager. Receptionists are crucial for providing a positive experience to clients and visitors, while recruitment officers play a vital role in attracting and selecting top-tier talent. Technology leaders spearhead technology strategy and operations, building high-performing teams and driving transformation initiatives. Proposal engineers support business development by preparing competitive proposals, and scrum managers collaborate with senior leadership to deliver projects through to completion. These targeted roles reflect the UAE’s commitment to integrating more nationals into key positions across various industries.

Skills and Education for Emiratisation

To succeed in Emiratisation-targeted roles, UAE nationals need to possess specific skills that align with job requirements. Key skills include digital literacy, critical thinking, effective communication, problem-solving, and leadership. Digital literacy is crucial for many roles in the private sector, while critical thinking helps nationals analyze complex problems and make informed decisions. Effective communication is essential for collaboration and teamwork, and strong problem-solving skills enable nationals to tackle challenges and adapt to changing circumstances. Leadership skills are vital for taking on senior roles and driving business growth.

Continuous learning and upskilling are essential for UAE nationals to remain competitive in the job market. Training and development programs enhance Emiratis’ skills and marketability, while education and awareness campaigns promote high-skilled industries and encourage participation in vocational and technical education. Government regulations and enforcement ensure compliance with Emiratisation requirements. Several educational programs and certifications support Emiratisation, such as the Work Readiness Program, National Training Program, Train for Work Program, Leadership & Management Program, and City & Guilds Qualifications. These initiatives help UAE nationals develop the necessary skills and competitiveness to thrive in the job market.

Salary Expectations and Career Growth for Emiratis

Based on Salary Explorer, a person working in the United Arab Emirates typically earns around 14,300 AED per month. Salaries in the UAE can range from a low of approximately 2,600 AED to a high of around 68,400 AED, with the highest actual salaries exceeding this upper limit.

Emiratis can expect significant career growth and progression opportunities in various sectors, including finance, technology, and healthcare, supported by the UAE government’s Emiratisation initiatives. Programs like the Nafis salary top-up provide additional income to Emiratis in the private sector, enhancing their job prospects and career advancement opportunities. The impact of Emiratisation on career development is substantial, leading to better job prospects, higher salaries, and increased opportunities for advancement.

Additionally, Emiratis benefit from training and development programs that improve their skills and competitiveness in the job market. Overall, Emiratis working in the private sector can anticipate competitive salaries and robust career growth, with the UAE government’s initiatives playing a crucial role in supporting their career development and financial well-being.

Tips for Jobseekers

To find Emiratisation job opportunities, jobseekers can utilize online job portals like and, which offer extensive job listings across various sectors. Networking and leveraging professional associations such as the Emirates Group and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry can also provide valuable job opportunities and industry connections. To stand out in the competitive job market, jobseekers should craft a strong resume and cover letter by highlighting relevant skills and experience, including transferable skills like customer service, teamwork, and problem-solving, and tailoring their resume to each job application. Using action verbs and quantifiable results can effectively showcase achievements. For interviews, thorough preparation is key; researching the company and role, reviewing one’s resume, dressing professionally, and practicing responses to common questions can significantly enhance performance and increase the likelihood of securing a job.

ERC International specializes in talent solutions across various industries, focusing on emerging markets and Emiratisation. Thier executive search services recruit Emirati nationals for senior roles, while their Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) streamlines hiring and enhances efficiency. ERC International’s innovative recruitment campaigns and skilled/semi-skilled recruitment services help companies find Emirati nationals with the necessary qualifications. Committed to Emiratisation, ERC International supports increasing Emirati participation in the private sector. Partnering with ERC International provides access to a diverse candidate pool, expertise in emerging markets, innovative recruitment strategies, and tailored, value-oriented services.

Attracting and Retaining Emirati Talent: Tips for Employers

To attract and retain Emirati talent, employers should follow these best practices:

  • Emirati culture places a strong emphasis on family, community, and national identity. Employers should promote a work environment that respects and values these cultural elements.
  • Forge partnerships with local educational institutions to create internship programs, scholarships, and workshops. Engaging with students early in their academic journey can help establish a talent pipeline.
  • Tailor your recruitment strategies to align with Emirati values. Utilize local job portals, participate in career fairs, and leverage social media platforms popular among Emirati professionals.

To retain Emirati talent, employers should:

  • Create an environment that values the contributions of all employees and encourages their growth and development within the organization. This can be achieved through diversity and inclusion programs, regular communication, and feedback mechanisms.
  • Recognize and respect important cultural and religious holidays, offer time off for religious observances, and provide appropriate accommodations for religious beliefs.
  • Encourage open communication and regular feedback, both between management and employees and among employees themselves. This can help build trust and improve collaboration.


Emiratisation is a UAE initiative to increase Emirati participation in the private sector, enhancing economic diversification and stability. It offers significant career growth in finance, technology, and healthcare, supported by programs like Nafis for additional income. Despite challenges like cultural barriers and competition from expatriates, Emiratisation improves job prospects and salaries for Emiratis. Employers can attract and retain Emirati talent by respecting cultural values, partnering with educational institutions, and fostering inclusive workplaces. Continuous learning and upskilling, supported by various training programs, help Emiratis stay competitive, making Emiratisation vital for their career and financial development.