In the United Arab Emirates, the government’s Emiratisation policy, aimed at increasing the employment of UAE nationals in both public and private sectors, has undergone significant updates in 2024. This strategic move aims to diversify the economy, reduce dependency on foreign labour, and create a more inclusive and diverse job market. Equiom, with its deep expertise in navigating the complexities of the UAE's employment landscape, is ideally positioned to guide businesses through these evolving policies.
2024 Updates and Regulations
- Increased Scope for Private Companies
From 2024, private sector companies with 20 to 49 employees are mandated to employ at least one Emirati, increasing to two in 2025. This extends the reach of Emiratisation beyond the earlier threshold of companies with 50 or more employees, marking a significant expansion of the policy.
The policy’s revised criteria cover 14 key sectors. These include industries like Information and Communication, Financial and Insurance, Real Estate, and Healthcare, among others. This broad scope ensures that Emiratisation impacts a wide array of economic activities, fostering employment opportunities across diverse fields.
- Penalties for Non-compliance
Non-compliance with Emiratisation requirements will result in hefty fines. In 2024, the penalty for not employing the required number of Emiratis is AED 96,000, which escalates to AED 108,000 in 2025. For repeated violations, fines can reach up to AED 500,000, underscoring the government’s commitment to enforcing these regulations.
- Monitoring and Compliance
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) actively monitors compliance through inspections, penalising breaches with fines and downgrading within the private sector classification system. This ensures that the policy is effectively implemented and adhered to.
To facilitate compliance, MoHRE encourages companies to utilise the Nafis platform for hiring and training Emirati professionals, offering support and incentives. Nafis is a national initiative aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Emiratis in the job market.
- Creation of Job Opportunities
The 2024 policy updates are expected to create about 12,000 jobs annually for UAE nationals in various sectors, significantly contributing to employment opportunities for the local population.
2. Tiered Compliance System
Businesses are classified into three tiers based on their Emiratisation compliance level. This system allows for differentiated benefits and penalties, encouraging companies to actively participate in meeting Emiratisation goals.
3. Encouraging Local Talent
The initiative opens numerous opportunities for Emirati graduates and professionals, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. This approach not only fosters local talent development but also supports the growth of diverse business sectors.
Emiratisation is a crucial policy that underlines the UAE's commitment to nurturing local talent and expertise, while also contributing to the country's economic growth and diversification. It emphasises the shared responsibility among the government, the private sector, and Emirati job seekers to create a more equitable labour market, offering a wider array of opportunities for UAE nationals. With these new regulations and supportive measures in place, Emiratisation in 2024 marks a significant step towards a more inclusive and prosperous future for the UAE.
Partner with Equiom for Emiratisation Success
Ready to align your business with the UAE’s Emiratisation objectives? Contact Equiom today for expert advice and personalised assistance. Our team is dedicated to helping you meet the Emiratisation targets efficiently and effectively, ensuring your business thrives while contributing to the national vision of the UAE. Contact us to explore how we can support your Emiratisation strategy and drive your business forward.
This article has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. This article cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained within this article without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact Equiom Group to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstance. Equiom Group, its partners, employees, and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this article or for any decision based on it.