The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (“MOHRE”) has announced in an update dated 11 July 2023 that private sector establishments with 20-49 employees, across 14 key economic sectors, will be subject to Emiratisation targets from 2024.
Initially, MoHRE issued Ministerial Decision 279 of 2022, on 6th June 2022, introducing new measures for increasing the population of Emiratis working within the private sector, whereby companies with over 50 employees were required to maintain specified Emiratisation rates, outlines as a percentage of the skilled workforce. Companies were expected to have achieved a rate of 2% Emiratisation by end of 2022, with a further 2% through 2023, to reach a total 4% overall. Increasing by 2% year-on-year, by the end of 2026, companies are expected to have achieved a minimum of 10% of UAE citizens operating in skilled positions.
The Emiratisation initiative, which aims to increase the number of UAE Nationals employed in the private sector, will require these targeted establishments to hire at least one UAE National in 2024 and another in 2025. Non-compliant establishments in 2024 will be subjected to a fine of AED 96,000 per each UAE National not hired, increasing to AED 108,000 if the establishment remains non-compliant in 2025.
Establishments will have two months to hire a replacement for a departing UAE National, failing which they will be subjected to the aforementioned fines.