UAE wants to boost job opportunities for its own citizens

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Gulf’s second-largest economy, wants to boost opportunities for its own citizens in private sector.

The UAE — like other oil-rich Arab Gulf states — has often used the public sector as an employment vehicle for its nationals. Just 12 per cent of the country’s more than nine million residents are UAE nationals, with over 90 per cent of private sector jobs taken by foreigners, according to International Labour Organisation figures.

The government is now strong-arming private firms into hiring local talent, with the aim of ensuring Emiratis make up 10 per cent of the private sector workforce by 2026.

Next month, firms with more than 50 employees that fail to fill two per cent of their skilled jobs with Emiratis face being fined.

The government also announced a salary support scheme that provides Emiratis in the private sector with up to AED 7,000 ($1,900) extra if monthly wages are less than AED 30,000.

There is no national minimum wage for Emiratis, but in Sharjah, one of the country’s seven emirates, they are entitled to a monthly minimum of AED 25,000.

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