Evaluation of Strategy for the Nationalisation of Human Resources: Enhancing Emiratisation in the Private Sector

Suha Al-Alili, Kasim Randeree

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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The difficulty presented to the leadership in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is that the mentioned economy relies upon expatriates to prop up the private sector. This paper hypothesises that there are two reasons for this, firstly reluctance of national job seekers for private sector employment and secondly the reluctance of local employers to employ UAE nationals.
Although the UAE Government through the Ministry of Labour is trying to encourage the participation of the local population in the Private Sector, the fact still remains that the participation and contribution of UAE nationals in the Private Sector is small. The disadvantages for the UAE economy brought about by this phenomenon include loss of Private Sector skills to foreign workers. Currently the UAE Government is finding difficulty in allocating jobs for high numbers of national graduates each year. The UAE Government began offering incentives to attract graduates into employment in the private sector, such as the introduction of pension schemes. Besides these and other efforts, UAE nationals, especially graduates, cannot find jobs, whether in the government or private sector. The labour market is not able to absorb the increasing number of graduates each year, thus unemployment levels among nationals continue to escalate.
The research gathered its information through distribution of surveys. First group was the national graduates to know their opinion about their preferred sectors after graduation. The second group is employees in both government departments and private companies. The research indicates that difficulties in finding work are forcing graduates to be more open-minded about the private sector. They are now convinced more than ever that the private sector can present an excellent opportunity to gain professional experience training. Most employees in the government sector are also finding that the private sector has opportunities to follow a desirable career. Private companies have for their part made a number of changes to attract nationals and most of them offer nationals high salaries along with a number of benefits.
This study also enlightens managerial practices. It relates to the Ministry of Labor role in the “Emiratisation Project”. The only role known by the public is that it imposes rules and regulations to force the private sector to employ nationals. In general, this paper contributes to both the nationals who are the concerned party and Private Sectors’ managerial practices. It should play an important role in the Ministry of Labour decision making regarding Emiratisation.
There are noticeable efforts from the Government to enhance Emiratisation in the private sector. For example, The Emirates National Development Program (ENDP) aims to match potential employees’ skills and the needs of the market. Tanmia, which is another initiative by the government, was created to assist nationals in finding jobs. Its main function is to organise and match the employers with the jobseekers and the skills they have. Thus, employer’s list vacant positions and the criteria they require, and Tanmia find the equivalent skills that would fit their requirements after running through the list of jobseekers submitted.
This study also has looked at the number of nationals compared to the expatriates in the country. As increasing number of nationals is essential to correct the demographical structure of the UAE. In addition to this, the study encouraged more focus on nationals’ skills and education to be more capable to fit into expatiates’ positions. Overall, the Emiratisation project needs to be rearranged and its scope has to be changed to focus more on national graduates and their participation in the private sector.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 17th International Conference on Management of Technology: Creating and Managing a Knowledge Economy - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 6 Apr 200810 Apr 2008


ConferenceThe 17th International Conference on Management of Technology
Abbreviated titleIAMOT 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


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