What is the change? The UAE Cabinet has adopted 10 resolutions to support Emiratisation and employment of 20,000 Emirati workers over the next three years.

What does the change mean? The resolutions provide for hiring and training Emiratis in key sectors, among other changes. The plan has been rolled out for the mainland, and there is an expectation that Emiratisation will also eventually apply to free zones.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work visas.
  • Business impact: Training of Emiratis will be encouraged through government-funded programs to boost their participation in the workforce. Companies that employ low numbers of Emiratis in targeted sectors will be encouraged to support training and skills programs.

Background: The goal of the resolutions is to open up 20,000 jobs in the next three years to Emiratis in key sectors including telecommunications, civil aviation, banking and real estate development.

Among the resolutions passed by the Cabinet, the government will set up a 300-million-dirham fund to train Emirati workers, subsidize 6-12 month training programs for graduates in government and private sector jobs, introduce specialized diplomas in technology, provide incentives for employers to give job opportunities to Emiratis, and amend the pension system to encourage Emiratis to gain skills in the private sector. An annual Emiratisation index will track progress across economic sectors.

Analysis & Comments: The UAE is stepping up Emiratisation efforts with the new resolutions. Employers should anticipate the push to train and hire local workers. Companies that rely heavily on expatriate labor will be asked to help support skills programs for Emiratis.

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