Emiratis thrive in private sector, study reveals

60 per cent of Emiratis in the private sector feel engaged in their jobs, compared with just 34 per cent of their peers in the public sector.

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DUBAI // Research has shown that 60 per cent of Emiratis working in the private sector feel higher levels of engagement – compared with just 34 per cent of their peers in the public sector.

The report, carried out by recruitment specialists Aon Hewitt, highlights that the private sector is making significant headway in terms of engaging national talent, despite the widely held perception that the public sector is the preferred employment route.

The Qudurat study includes participation from more than 100 public and private companies and organisations, including Gulf Air, Emirates NBD, Alghanim Industries and Dolphin Energy.

Favourable working conditions in the public sector such as job security, status and regulated working hours have traditionally been seen as key engagement factors for Emiratis.

The research also shows that 30 per cent of Emiratis are at high risk of attrition in the public sector compared to only 14 per cent in the private sector. While the public sector is often viewed as providing a better work-life balance for its employees, the study found no significant overall difference in satisfaction levels between those working in either sector.

Dr Markus Wiesner, the chief executive at Aon Hewitt Middle East, said: “The Qudurat findings demonstrate a change in attitudes among Emiratis towards working in the private sector. This is good news as a whole for the UAE economy as it continues to diversify and look towards its local talent pool for sustainable skills and future business leaders. Based on the findings, the private sector is clearly doing something right in terms of attracting and engaging national talent.”

Emiratis working in the private sector also report significantly higher satisfaction levels than those in the public sector when it comes to areas such as learning and development opportunities and recognition within the organisation.