Emirati jobseekers from across the country attended the UAE National Career Exhibition in Sharjah.
The three-day event at the Expo Centre in Sharjah, which connects jobseekers and employers with the aim of boosting the Emiratisation drive, attracted hundreds of hopeful candidates and those seeking to learn more about potential career paths.
More than 30 entities, including ministries and private sector companies from banking, engineering and finance, were in attendance.
Saif Al Midfa, chief executive of Expo Sharjah Centre, said the event – now in its 25th year – attracted new people in the private and government sectors.
“The event is a bridge between private and public sectors with talented jobseekers. It provides many jobs in different entities for young Emiratis,” said Mr Al Midfa.
Leading employers and organisations taking part included the Ministry of Defence, Sharjah Government, HSBC, Air Arabia, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, United Arab Bank, universities in Sharjah and Ajman, as well as Beeah Group.
A series of workshops were held, offering advice on creating CVs, interview techniques and avenues for career progression.
Exploring career paths
Badria Ismail, an Emirati lab technician from Ajman, told The National she has applied to universities and is waiting for their responses.
“I graduated a year ago [in biology science] and always love to attend job fairs across the country," she said. "It is a good chance to meet employers and know the latest trends. I do not mind working in private sector with the benefits of Nafis programme.
“I want to gain experience in my field and be reasonable with my expectations for the salary. I can develop myself soon with training and career paths.”
Emiratis from various educational and professional backgrounds attended the job fair, many with hopes of securing a job or exploring potential career paths.
Sara Ahmed, a recent graduate in finance, said such initiatives are important in supporting Emiratis on their job-hunting journeys.
"The event is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet prospective employers and learn more about the job market," Ms Sara said. "It is more than just a job fair, it is a platform for networking and enhancing our career prospects."
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is leading a nationwide push to bolster local participation in the private sector, viewed as a big driver of the economy.
Companies must increase their Emirati workforce by 1 per cent every six months under the Emiratisation drive.
Employers in the UAE with at least 50 members of staff are expected to meet a 4 per cent target by the end of the year.
The Emirati employment rate will increase to 6 per cent by the end of next year, 8 per cent in 2025 and 10 per cent in 2026.
In July, the UAE announced that companies with 20 to 49 employees would be required to fill a quota for the first time, hiring at least one Emirati next year and another by 2025.