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
Engines of innovation: TURN8

Engines of innovation: TURN8

Tamara Pupic visited one of the institutions at the centre of...

Rediscovering past glories: Pearl fishing

Rediscovering past glories: Pearl fishing

Pearl fishing was practically wiped out in the Gulf by the influx...

Revealed: How to get a pay rise in 2015

Revealed: How to get a pay rise in 2015

Recruitment experts share their top tips for salary negotiation...

Most Discussed
  • 17
    Nakheel PR: The toughest job in Dubai?

    You forgot to mention the sewage pit between JLT and Jumeirah Park and the terrible landscaping in Jumeirah Park The chain link fencing they want to install... more

    Monday, 30 March 2015 9:05 AM - An Emaar Fan
  • 14
    Dubai Int'l T1 is too congested, says Indian airline boss

    Question: All you people, criticizing my comment, do you work for Air India by any chance?

    Additionally, for all the whiners, I will provide you... more

    Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:50 PM - Mosa
  • 9
    Post traumatic stress?

    I once had a Emirates Post employee hang up on me when I asked her to repeat something. That said, the worst is my management company, Kingfield Management... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 6:07 PM - Sarah