The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has embarked on the implementation of Emiratization targets for a wider range of companies. This decision mandates that over 12,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with 20-49 employees must hire at least one UAE citizen in 2024 and another in 2025.
In a bid to ensure widespread compliance, the ministry has digitally notified the targeted SMEs. It is offering them adequate time to align with the new Emiratization regulations. The move reflects a strategic effort to diversify the UAE’s workforce across various economic sectors.
MoHRE issued a statement urging the affected companies to promptly meet their Emiratisation targets and avoid delays. Moreover, it emphasized the importance of participation, highlighting the need for companies to register on the Nafis platform to benefit from its support programs.
MoHRE is also committed to supporting companies in achieving their targets by conducting training workshops. Hence, these sessions educate businesses on the necessary procedures and guide them on utilizing the Nafis platform to its full potential.
Key economic sectors
The SMEs that fall under the Emiratization targets span 14 key sectors, including information and communications, finance and Insurance, and real estate. The sectors targeted in the regulations also include professional and technical activities, administrative and support services, education and healthcare, and social work.
Other sectors include:
- Arts and entertainment
- Mining and quarrying
- Transformative industries
- Wholesale and retail
- Transportation and warehousing
- Accommodation and hospitality
These sectors are seen as pivotal in providing ample job opportunities and fostering a conducive working environment.
Read: How to get a permanent residency visa in UAE
Financial consequences for non-compliance
To enforce compliance, the decision includes annual financial contributions for companies failing to meet their Emiratization targets. The ministry will charge AED96,000 for each UAE citizen not appointed in 2024. Moreover, the collection will commence in January 2025. Similarly, it will impose a fine of AED108,000 for 2025 targets, with collection scheduled for January 2026. To alleviate financial burdens, companies are permitted to pay contributions in installments, following an agreement with MoHRE.
Existing Emiratization framework
The decision for companies with 20-49 employees aligns with the ongoing Emiratization targets for larger companies. Larger companies are mandated to achieve a 2 percent annual growth in the Emiratisztion of skilled jobs. This highlights the government’s commitment to fostering a diverse and skilled national workforce.
Source: Economy Middle East