Dubai ruler presses private sector to hire Emiratis

UAE is currently outlining new project to help employ up to 120,000 of its citizens


What about considering a 12 month National Service Program to allow, firstly any unemployed Emarati to serve the nation in many areas of service such as Police, Army, Civil Defence to get firsthand experience in these areas and some of them may decide to stay and man those critical areas which should always be in the hands of citizens, not expatriates.

Females need not be excluded, they could do national service in nursing, teaching, healthcare as well as other areas where care is needed to nationals.

These individuals would then be equiped to serve the nation in times of need and would have a record of service and a period of mentoring to go out into the market and seek employment.

With 14% unemployment this would guarantee gainful employment for at least a year and create a pool of Emiratis who are ready for any eventuality including opportunities in the UAE's private sector.

Dubai Living

Baffy is right.......make all the labour laws for locals and non-locals alike which includes the disciplinary procedures and laws. The playing field should be level.....


The trick is in hiring Emarati's at the top in companies like Vehicle dealerships, Construction companies, Contracting companies and Real Estate Companies. These are generalist positions not demanding specialized tertiary level of education or training but largely vocational training. These jobs which are primarily western expat occupied currently are cushy which locals would be happy to occupy and the number of these positions is proportionate to the numbers of employable locals. This would also avoid the culture clash which western expats bring to the table! It is obvious that the biggest GDP drivers of the economy like Tourism and Real Estate are now GCC, Asian and African dependent which suites the cultural priorities of this country!

The Consultant

These positions all require hard-gained experience, commerical acumen and keen negotiating skills, arguably these are harder skills to acquire than a university degree (although I think you will find that most of the expats running these companies have one of those as well). Far from being "cushy" it is a job that requires strong performance and if the financial results dip the manager is likely to be out of a job. Any of the Emiratis that have the skills and experience to do these jobs successfully are probably already running major divisions of large SOE's or government departments.

It should also be noted that many of the largest private companies of the types you mention are owned by Emirati families. If they had suitable local candidates to run their businesses I'm sure they would have put them in place by now.

Thamir Ghaslan

The best thing to happen in Saudi recently is that HR is largely performed by Saudis. This role can accept high school all the way to MBAs. The amount of nepotism on how certain nationalities will bring in their own disregarding merits and locals when they hold this function has been reduced. I guess Emaratis can start by nationalizing this critical function.


We strongly believe that the only remedy to the arrogance of our expats and the only remedy that they understand and make them attentive is to apply fines and restrictions/quotas on this influx from Asia, anything else will prove futile.

Sam from Canada

Sure they can work under the sun! All you need to do is shade and air condition the whole site, bring in automatic drills and screws where all they really need to do is push a soft button.

That might just work. And oh...cant be a shift longer than 30 minutes a day, with free refreshments (likely being served by expats).

Hello tomorrow....we hope ;)


@Sam and SPP

And in Canada and the US it's not the Mexicans and Asians who pick up the garbage, work in construction, pick grapes, fill up gas, and about everything else.

We've been there, we've seen, and we found you lacking.

Sam from Canada

Its not the expats (generally) who have the "arrogance" problem.

Also, let us not be naive - the day locals can make do without the expats (which likely wont be for the next 50+ years, if even then), you guys wont be giving visas to any either. The ONLY reason UAE allows expats is because you guys cant do without them, (I guess you don't want to go back to fishing for a livelihood).

Also, I assure you most (Asian) expats cant wait to leave the UAE for Canada or other Immigration-granting countries; and the day they get a green light to immigrate, they will fly away - weather you/your businesses are ready for them to leave, or not.


Really!!!You ready for something like that yet? Will you be able do construction works on the sides of the road under the scorching july sun? Hardly doubt it.


I personally believe that we expats owe a sense of duty towards the UAE local community. After all its their country and we are here to earn our livelihood. We progressing with the local population finding it difficult to make ends meet would be unethical on our part. The best way would be to take them along by walking the extra mile. After all if they are happy we can be happy.

With my interaction with the local community, I find them as good as any other nationality in any sphere of life. However, over protectionism could take away the drive to compete.


Just a thought: all expats who invested in UAE do employ locals already. They are called sponsors. Think about it.

Baffy Dedo

make all the employment laws for locals and non-locals alike - including the disciplinary procedures and laws.

Let them compete for their jobs on a level playing fiels.

If they all end of senior managers in the private sector then something has been achieved.
But I am afriad that is the law of nature that you will have some people highly intelligent - some people less intelligene.

SO some should be ceo's, Etc. - some need to be cleaners!!

Just like every other society in the world.

Love to see the local who will become a cleaner - because it is surely never going to happen

In any successful society you have to have the full strata of people and skilll levels


At least the Locals don't bite the hand that feeds them, and their salaries are not based on how many tattoos they have.

one of the joes

Nirsly, please let go of your prejudgments and your attempts to prove right or wrong. You make a lot of claims without knowing if either one is true. how about aiming at an exchange of opinions to drive understanding?
I work with adults in business and social contexts, with adults from all kinds of Arabian countries, with people from the sub continent, people from varying European countries, Africans, Asians and Australians, NZers, ... I experience how they interact, what they know, what they contribute.
And I have been asked many times to join local companies - and we discussed why they would want me in the game. So I believe I have some understanding.
You say you lived in the West. Did you live in Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Sweden or in Canada or in NZ, just to name a few? I do not think so.
And btw, I know more Arabic than the average expat.


@ one of the joes

I understand perfectly, however your view of your culture and its reliance on achievements is highly exaggerated.

I lived most of my life in The West, and countless were the number of times that children of privilege were rewarded while their smarter and harder working countrymen received very little for their " achievements ".

I really believe most expats here are suffering from a selective memory relating to their land of origin. I also believe that you don't know much about our people and what they're doing or to why they aspire. Clearly part of the problem is because you don't know the language and won't learn. Most expats here even after many years can not even say two simple words for greeting in Arabic.

You don't watch our TV or read our papers to see what we discuss, what we want to change and what we reward.

When expats can speak our language and know our culture very well, then we can truly have an objective and informed discussion.

one of the joes

@Nirsly, there are some substandard expats here, and there are locals that would not survive on their own. and there are the others as well, the ones that would do well everywhere, locals and expats.
Telcoguy and I come from culture where achievement weighs more heavy than ascription of status to someone just because of birth. In this region the culture of collectivism and ascription still influences a lot of what is happening - and sadly, the part where people were proud of what they contributed to society has been lost for many and been replaced with an idea of being superior to others just by color of passport, and no sense of obligation to prove themselves by their own doing and their own worth.


Some say bite the hand that feeds you, if the other hand is crushing your throat. No one is feeding anyone over here or doing any biting. It is a simple case of suppliers meeting a demand and getting compensated for it. Once the compensation becomes inadequate, suppliers will go somewhere else. No one is doing anyone any favors; remember however that there are consequences to all actions.

Dr. Safwat

All GCC countries must limit the number of foreign workers not through a sudden mass expulsion of foreign workers but a gradual limitation to this vast exodus to the GCC.
As long as the GCC is so dependent on foreign workforce, the GCC nationals will never be able to grow and lead. It has been around 50 years if not more that the GCC is dependent on foreigners, how come the GCC nationals are still lagging behind in every sector and always considered dimwits and lazy by these same foreigners?????????
There is a long term and a short term solution to root out this monopoly that has caused the stagnation and frustration of the GCC nationals and permanently stunted their development, the long term solution is to encourage the GCC nationals to have more children, and the short term solution is granting citizenship to Arabs (who also are marginalized in the GCC market) who share with us the same language, culture and identity. Other solutions and pleas have proved futile and nonsensical.


As I understand it, most private companies are owned by locals, so why is it that locals are not hiring locals? Maybe as a pilot project, a company should be formed that is completely run by locals, from WC cleaning to the CEO level and then measure results and assess success.

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