Subsidy plan to get Emiratis into private sector

Official says quotas will be phased out, subsidies will help plug salary gap.

Emiratisation quotas imposed on private companies could eventually be scrapped with subsidies offered to encourage them to hire Emirati staff, it was reported on Tuesday.

Abdullah al Darmaki, the general manager of the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC) said the funds would allow private companies to match the salaries offered by the public sector.

In comments published by UAE daily The National, he did not give a timeline for the phasing out of the quota system, but suggested it would happen as more Emiratis become qualified to enter the private sector.

The subsidies would start immediately, he said, adding: “When you look at the financial model of a certain sector and you realise that the implication of hiring an Emirati is very high, this is where we look into; over a given limited period of time, the Government will subsidise the salary."

Currently, private companies in certain sectors are obliged to employ a certain number of Emiratis but on average, Emiratis make up just four per cent of the private sector workforce, compared to 52 per cent of public sector one.

Al Darmaki told the paper that any subsidy would be reduced over time until the Emirati employee had enough experience to deserve a higher salary.

“Our quota is only there for a limited period of time, I believe,” he said. “Once the education system takes care of itself, and once the employers do find the competence within [Emirati] individuals, you don’t need a quota,” Al Darmaki said at spon the sidelines of the Emiratisation Employer Forum 2010.

The authorities hope that some of the measures proposed at the forum will reduce the Emirati unemployment rate, which has reached 14 per cent in Abu Dhabi and is higher among women and in rural areas.

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Posted by: Mike Charlie Mike

I will leave the occupational "profiling" argument aside. It is an old story in the UAE (like me); and the mud slinging is mainly driven by the competitive nature of the majority of the work force employed in the UAE; which has still not learned to say no. The disparity in wages is driven by the poorer economies of the countries of origin (for most expats in junior positions) where there is always someone willing to say YES for 15% less than their predecessor. This is related to an issue regarding lack of minimum wage standards and we can all yell at each other until we are blue in the face and it won?t level the playing field a bit until that is addressed. No standards mean many are forced to compete here on price, and the only way to keep acceptable (not necessarily healthy) margins and grow the company in many market segments is to reduce costs and at the risk of quality. The only good thing about the credit crisis is a bit of corporate Darwinism that has placed some of the worst offenders of price and quality on the endangered traders list. Many of you who actually understand a P&L, and who have been here more than a few years, may agree that the net margins on (non counterfeit) goods and (professional) services in the UAE, makes domestic business here a little trickier. That is a major contributor that makes it difficult for "us" to hire a qualified national who asks for 300% more than the average Joe. (Except for an obvious few) I feel that the majority of the respondents here do not have any responsibility for the bottom line or have taken the emotional line, which is also bad for the bottom line. I would love to work with more UAE nationals at any level in the organization, but the decision to hire in any position is always measured against the statutory costs to employ, salary expectations, market norms and the volume and rates of your products and services among others. Salary expectations of the candidate are the largest hindrance to employing anyone including Nationals, not performance issues. Anyone good boss can teach almost anyone to fish. By the way, as we banter on, has any one forgotten to mention that almost ALL domestic business in the UAE is run or sponsored by a National? Over the last 12 months we have had so many good National candidates come through here looking for a job. But they have consistently asked for salaries up to three times higher than our CEO (a fair National of high repute) draws each month to run the entire mother ship! Expat employees in the domestic market are between the hammer and the anvil; and in most cases the decision to NOT employ a National is almost always made by a National, but the expat delivers the message in many cases. Try not to shoot the messenger please. Stand back and enjoy the show. Subsidize or not... there is no silver bullet and it is a National problem that will (sooner or later) be decided by Nationals in this next decade?s battle between the generations.

Posted by: GK

During my long stay in Dubai, i have noticed some of the locals are better than expats to deal with, they are more efficient , hard working and to the point .They are more understanding and kind.i feel weak point is lack of training/experience.authorities should take steps to train them for right post.

Posted by: VC

Somebody commented about S-Asians not having jobs back at home, well, to be very honest, is it not coz of the fact that local population, not all, but most of it has an abysmal education level, skill set, managerial skills and a herd mentality for business acumen (raising ur voice and shouting at subordinates/co-workers is not managing) that the govt has to step-in in order to raise employment levels among locals in the country lets not malign any nationality here....we (an expat no matter what nationality) help build this nation.......and we did it simply as a business proposition...the same how emirati companies are settign up their business in India and other South Asian countries (latest is our very own Etisalat to set shop in India) is it bcoz etisalat does not have jobs here or cant do business anymore??...nobody is asking for any equal rights as an emirati....but that does not mean there should be discrimination based on caste, colour or creed....

Posted by: Roy

If you are hiring now, would you mind if I sent you my CV. Please reply to Many thanks in advance.

Posted by: John Thomas

Zen, we have been here for 5 years now - I stated our protocol and our position and I stand by it - YES i would pay (as I am) the exact same salary for the same job, regardless of your nationality - and that is unwavering!, if you are qualified, do the job and perform in accordance to our requirements, we do not care where you are from! If I was ever forced to do otherwise, I woudl simply shut down. My Dubai office staff (multinational), gets paid exactly the same that my US staff gets paid, that is our policy and it WILL remain like that. If the job is the same and you perform to the best of your abilities and produce the results that we ask for, why should the color of your skin matter??? I have wonderful people working for me and the simple fact taht they see the fairness on what we do, produces wonderful results, why? - BECAUSE THEY FEEL APPRECIATED and rewarded for working hard and a job well done regardless where they come from, I have promoted SE Asians over Americans in my Company simply because they perform better and deserved it based on Merits - and yet I am an American with an American Company - that is called fairness, which we do not see much of in Dubai - do you see something wrong with that policy?

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