Emiratization call as expats now 91 per cent of workforce

Published:  25 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: UAE, Jobs
At the recent Abu Dhabi GOV HR summit, the focus was on the total imbalance between nationals and expats in the workforce.

Job losses and poor economic growth across the UAE are causing lawmakers concern about the progress of emiratization. Based on the findings via surveys carried out by various UAE agencies, experts pointed out that the GCC workforce is made up of 75 per cent expats and 25 per cent nationals, whereas the UAE’s workforce is now 91 per cent foreign. The situation is projected to worsen until only three per cent of UAE nationals are in work by 2030.

As a result of the above statistics, the focus of the summit was on nationalisation and emiratization, both of which, according to lawmakers, had not been getting enough attention. The reason for the nationalisation policy’s poor performance, according to speakers, is that both the private and public sectors have been guilty of poor management, leadership failures and organisational inefficiency. The subject of nationalisation, it was noted, had first been discussed some 30 years ago, but nothing much has been done since.

One speaker stressed the need for a policy linking national talent to the right jobs, thus ensuring that emiratis were able to progress in the workplace, reducing the need for expat workers. The number of jobseekers, he said, has increased from 30,000 in 2006 to 36,000 this year, with totals for the GCC as a whole showing a real need for attractive private sector jobs for nationals. A speaker from Oman told the summit his government is identifying and nurturing home-grown talent, saying it’s a slow process but will succeed. He added expat workers shouldn’t fear the nationalisation strategy as the developing countries in the GCC need huge manpower, both national and expat.
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