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UAE firms to face $20,000 fine for non-compliance with Emiratisation rules 

An Emirati flag fluttering above Dubai's marina with the Burj Al Arab landmark hotel (C) in the background, 3 June 2021 [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]
An Emirati flag fluttering above Dubai, 3 June 2021 [KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images]

Companies operating in the UAE's private sector have 47 days left to comply with the country's Emiratisation rules or face an annual fine of $20,000 (72,000 dirhams) for every Emirati they fail to hire, starting from January 2023.

The move is part of the UAE's drive to increase the number of Emirati nationals in the work force and is in line with the government's Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (Nafis) initiative, which aims to raise the contributions of Emirati citizens within the private sector.

Under the new rules, companies with more than 50 employees must ensure that two per cent of employees are Emirati before the 1 January deadline.

On Friday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said in a statement that "We reaffirm our belief in developing the UAE labour market in partnership with the private sector to help achieve an improved business environment and investment climate that encourages companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and talented people from all over the world to work in the UAE, especially in strategic sectors."

"Adhering to the legislation regulating the labour market is ultimately in the interest of private sector companies and their employees," it added.

In accordance with the Nafis initiative, the UAE wants ten per cent of its private sector to be made up of Emirati citizens by 2026.

"The Nafis programme encourages UAE nationals to enter the private sector while benefiting from the largest possible level of government empowerment and support," the ministry said.

READ: UAE launches new unemployment insurance scheme

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