Emiratisation programme 'exceeds expectations' as thousands join private sector

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid hails Sheikh Mansour as a role model for leading the recruitment drive

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In the presence of President Sheikh Mohamed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, hailed the success of the first phase of the Emiratisation drive after the UAE government announced tens of thousands of Emiratis have been successfully placed in new private sector jobs.

Figures released on Wednesday showed that 28,700 Emiratis have taken jobs at private companies since the launch of the Nafis employment programme a year ago.

Sheikh Mansour is one of the great extensions of Zayed and one of the pillars of the great nation
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, headed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, said Nafis had exceeded expectations in 2022, with more than 50,000 UAE citizens now working in the private sector.

Sheikh Mohammed praised the role of Sheikh Mansour for his work in enacting the Emiratisation drive, despite having several portfolios to manage.

“With the presence of my brother, the President of the State — may God protect him — we honour today my brother Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed for his exceptional efforts in serving the United Arab Emirates,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

“Sheikh Mansour is a brother, friend and supporter. He is a supporter of the President of the State, a supporter of me in the federal government, and a supporter and role model for his fellow citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed said Sheikh Mansour was also responsible for the Central Bank and manages the UAE Investment Authority with assets exceeding Dh30 billion.

“He follows all presidential portfolios assigned to him by the leadership,” he said.

“The latest files handled by my brother Sheikh Mansour include the file of citizen employment, in which he was able to employ 28,000 citizens in just one year, and he was able to increase their representation in the private sector by 70 per cent within months.

“Sheikh Mansour is one of the great extensions of Zayed and one of the pillars of the great nation.”

Sheikh Mohammed awarded Sheikh Mansour the ceremonial Mohammed bin Rashid Sash in recognition of his efforts and achievements in serving the UAE.

Official figures

The figures released on Wednesday also show that about Dh400 million in fines have been issued to companies that failed to hit a January 1 deadline to meet Emiratisation targets.

Officials said 8,897 companies had met the deadline, but did not state how many had missed it.

More than 17,000 job vacancies were posted on the Nafis portal, where Emiratis are encouraged to look for opportunities.

Companies with more than 50 employees were required to ensure that 2 per cent of their workforce was Emirati by January 1. Firms in free zones were exempt.

The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council said it had recorded 227 instances where fake jobs had been offered to meet the deadline.

Emiratis taking private sector jobs are entitled to salary top-ups under the Nafis — which means “compete” or “to be competitive” in Arabic — programme because they would typically earn more in the public sector.

Employers must now hit a target of 4 per cent by January 1, 2024, rising to 10 per cent by the end of 2026.

Officials discussed the first phase of a social media campaign that will put the spotlight on 101 Emiratis in the sector and how they are thriving.

The Nafis … Your Way campaign seeks to change perceptions about the private sector, including the work environment and opportunities that it offers.

Moulding future leaders

The UAE on Thursday announced the launch of a new Emirati leadership programme to further bolster local participation in the private sector.

Sheikh Mansour, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, were on hand as the plans were set out at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Watan.

The initiative aims to pave the way for a new generation of leaders in the private sector, state news agency Wam reported.

The leadership scheme is in line with the wider goals of the country's Emiratisation drive.

It will aim to expand training and boost qualifications of Emirati employers to create pathways for further career development.

Updated: January 12, 2023, 10:04 AM