90% of Emiratis still seek public sector jobs

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Ninety percent of Emiratis still prefer to find public sector jobs, despite the country's Emiratisation efforts. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ninety percent of Emiratis still prefer to find public sector jobs, despite the country's Emiratisation efforts. (AFP/Getty Images)

Public sector employment is still the preference for a large majority of UAE nationals despite the country's Emiratisation efforts, new research showed on Monday.

Two thirds of UAE nationals currently employed are actively seeking better job opportunities, while nearly half of those unemployed have been looking for a job for more than 12 months, a survey, conducted by Informa Exhibitions, showed.

The survey said that the public sector still remains the most preferred workplace option for UAE nationals, with 90 percent of respondents indicating a preferral to work in government organisations.

The most common reasons for a public sector preference were higher salaries, better working hours, more job security, and the perception that public sector organisations would treat them better than organisations in the private sector.

Comments made by respondents in the survey indicated many feel a patriotic duty to serve their country, though the majority agreed that for experience and skills development, the private sector trumps.

It also showed that out of a total of 365 respondents, almost half (45 percent) were unemployed.

Another third were employed in the public sector, and a further 22 percent in the private sector. 

Sixty five per cent of those employed said they were actively looking for a new job to improve their work and career opportunities. 

Researchers also found a gender gap among Emiratisation employment rates; more than half (55 percent) of the female respondents were unemployed and actively seeking a job, while just 32 percent of male respondents were out of work.

When asked what the main challenges were for UAE national job seekers while looking for a job in the private sector, 58 percent of respondents said that they felt that salaries would be below expectations, with 49 percent commenting that they felt that there weren't enough jobs available for UAE nationals in the private sector.

Informa, organisers of the Tawdheef Recruitment Show, which opens on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, said the survey was conducted on 365 UAE nationals between the ages of 18 to 40.

Hayete Jemai, Tawdheef exhibition director, said: "The UAE national survey was developed to gain a better understanding of the underlying themes of how Emiratis perceive public and private sector work environments, and the main challenges they face when looking for work in the private sector.

"It is part of an ongoing study to find out how we can help integrate Emiratis into the private sector and assist organisations with aligning their Emiratisation targets and objectives."

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Fletch

"When asked what the main challenges were for UAE national job seekers while looking for a job in the private sector, 58 percent of respondents said that they felt that salaries would be below expectations"

Time to lower your expectations then. Or stay unemployed.

Posted by: Saffa expat

@kumar you will find that the Kumars who come from the west also earn higher salaries, the reason being that they earned their credentials at an internationally recognized and accredited degree, and not some educational system in the private sector with no regulators and no real standards.
Also they are usually exposed to working in regions with high work expectations and the view that your job doesn't start at 8 and finish at 5, instead that your job is based on overall performance and improving the situation of the company, not just following orders.

Posted by: Kumar Smith


Why would they lower their expectations? It is THEIR country, they should earn enough to live a quality life as per the standards HERE, not India or some other 3rd world country where most expats are from. I know several PAs and Secretaries making over 25k simply because they are 'Western'; why is it allowed for them but not allowed for locals to make money on the fact that they are 'locals' !!


What you understood is wrong. It is not that 45% don't want to work in the private sector; it is that 45% would rather wait to be paid like the Smiths or the Albert's, rather than to be paid like the Kumars or the Santoshs. Its harsh, i know; but look at the salary of a competant HR, Accountant or Engineering professional. Why do the Kumars accept disgustingly low salaries while the Smiths expect ridiculously high ones (even though they have half the credentials of the Kumar?!)

Locals want to be paid like the Smiths, not the Kumars. Is that so hard to understand?

Posted by: KumarsofMonarchy

That means, two thirds of the local population feel private jobs are low paying. Which basically implies that expatriates are paid lower than nationals since we don't get government jobs.

Which also goes to show why the government does such a great job for its expats by applying fees which locals don't have to pay. Housing fees anyone?

45% unemployment and nobody wants to take a private job? What kind of a mentality is this?

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

Will the emirate ever be smoke free? We spark up the conversation...

Mentoring matters: Mowgli Q&A

Mentoring matters: Mowgli Q&A

Kathleen Bury, CEO of mentoring foundation Mowgli, on why mentoring...

Guide to getting married in Dubai on a budget

Guide to getting married in Dubai on a budget

Alarmed by how expensive weddings are? Our experts reveal how...

Most Discussed
  • 24
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held accountable...so thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 23
    Baby NOT on board?

    Some of you cry babies need to get your own personal apartments on the plane ! You cry more then the babies I have seen in my travels. LOL more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 9:10 AM - Jim
  • 21
    Israel “must be punished” over Gaza, says Dubai police chief

    This high moral ground that Mick is talking abt sound very familiar. May I remind Mick that the US & its British ally alone killed over 1 million innocent... more

    Thursday, 7 August 2014 4:12 PM - Mathew