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UAE: Emiratisation Target Doubled For Private Firms, Violators To Face Stiffer Penalties



Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation Has Taken The Decision

As part of the ongoing Emiratisation process, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has decided to double the intake of Emiratis in the private sector by 2023 end. The companies that don’t adhere to this policy shall incur heavy penalties than before. In 2022, the Emiratisation percentage in the private sector was 2 percent of the total employee count and now the Ministry is planning to raise it to 4 percent.

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation Has Taken The Decision

Earlier the fine fixed for not following the regulation was AED 72,000 annually for each Emirati that is not appointed. The ministry has initiated the process of collecting the fines for the companies that haven’t met the Nafis objectives of 2022. This rule is applicable to every private sector firm that has a total employee count of fifty. The value of the penalty has been increasing by AED 1,000 every year till 2026 and by that time the growth rate of Emiratisation will be projected around ten percent. 


The MoHRE said that they expect the complete cooperation of the private sector in the development of the UAE and the process of Emiratisation will help create a competitive and stable business environment for the nation. Incentive packages are given to companies that encourage the participation of the Emirati workforce by providing them with training and employment.

This is in line with the goal of the Nafis Programme that enables these companies to join the Emiratisation Partners Club.

Being in the club will increase their classification to the top tier category under the ministry system and this would make them eligible for discounts of up to eighty percent when availing of the ministry’s services.    

On the other hand, the UAE administration has hardened its stance on the issue of fake Emiratisation. Those companies which are found to engage in fraudulent activities by forging fake appointments of Emiratis will be met with strict criminal punishment and fines. During the last week of December, the director of a company was charged with the fake appointment of forty emiratis in his company. The public prosecutor had requested the imprisonment of the accused as the tendency to create fake appointment documents will work against the spirit of Emiratisation throughout the UAE.

Launched in September 2021, the Nafis programme aims at increasing the presence of Emiratis in the private employment sector of the UAE. As this is an initiative started by the UAE administration within the purview of its Federal law, all the private companies registered in the UAE are expected to follow the rules and regulations under the Nafis Programme.

The initial phase of the Nafis programme expects a 2 percent reservation for Emiratis in the private sector and this was expected to be completed by December 31, 2022. The second phase has been started and the two percent reservation has been increased to four and will reach its final phase by 2023 December.

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Companies that fail to meet these directives will be charged with heavy fines that will be collected from them by the Ministry.  Here are some of the possible lists of violations and the fine for the violations. 

  1. If a person or company is found to have resorted to fraud means for creating fake Emiratisation then a fine of not less than AED 20,000 and not more than AED 100,000 for each employee shall be collected. 
  2. If any employee who was appointed under the Nafis programme shows non-commitment to work then a fine of AED 20,000 shall be imposed on the individual together with the withdrawal of all benefits provided and a refund of the money that was given to the company shall be initiated. 
  3. If an employee appointed under the Nafis Scheme doesn’t turn up for work and the company fails to inform the absence of the Nafis then the employee shall be imposed a fine of AED 20,000 with all the benefits being withdrawn and a refund initiated for the money given to the firm under the Nafis scheme. 
  4. Private companies who are found to submit incorrect documents or data for the sake of obtaining Nafis scheme benefits or to avoid the Emiratisation process shall be fined an amount not less than AED 20,000 and not more than AED 100,000 for each Emirati employee. The company shall also return all the benefits that it procured under the scheme and all future support shall be ceased. 

In order to push the Emiratisation programme in a swift and organized manner, the MoHRE conducted a meeting with various recruitment agencies in the UAE. They discussed the topics of the latest developments in the employment sector and how these agencies can create a positive outlook from the Nafis programme by hiring resourceful Emiratis in the private sector.

In order to meet the new demands of an economy that is surging ahead in terms of development metrics, the UAE administration hopes to inculcate a skilled local Emirati workforce into the employment sector for better utilization of human resources and skills. 

Content writer and social science researcher with 5 plus years of experience in research. He has published academic and non-academic articles on several online platforms covering wide-ranging subjects. He is also a tech enthusiast, bibliophile, and an avid fan of video games.

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