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Sun 17 Jul 2011 07:15 AM

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No expat quotas for UAE, says Dubai Police chief

UAE will not follow Saudi Arabia with visa penalties for companies that don’t hire locals

No expat quotas for UAE, says Dubai Police chief
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim

No expatriate quotas are planned for the UAE in light of recent visa changes in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the head of Dubai Police has said.

“No, there is no such thing as special treatment for locals, and we will never force hiring locals because forcing companies to take locals is not productive,” Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim told Arabian Business.

“We will encourage hiring locals on merit and for their suitable qualifications. Then we could support those companies who are hiring locals by granting them contracts.”

“And based on my experience with the way the HH the Ruler of Dubai thinks, I see no chance of that happening,” Lt Gen Tamim added.

Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s largest state, has introduced the Nitaqat quota system, which will see those companies that do not hire sufficient numbers of locals banned from reissuing expatriate residency visas when they expire.

The system has caused consternation amongst expatriates in the kingdom. Labour minister Adel Fakieh has said that he expects around 20 percent of companies to find themselves in the ‘red’ - or worst-performing - category, and that not all expatriates in poor categories will be able to be re-employed elsewhere.

Recent reports in the UAE have suggested that Abu Dhabi has laid off many expats as it looks to lower costs and hire more locals.

Lt Gen Tamim also said that many expatriates and visitors see Dubai as a safe destination, whether they were travelling to the emirate for holiday, work, or to escape “uncertainties” in their own countries.

“Dubai has been extremely lucky because of the troubles in the region which have forced business people and investors to seek a safe refuge for their investments,” he said.  “Some of them are relocating to Dubai from Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Yemen in addition to other countries in the region.

“All the Gulf tourists who used to spend their summer breaks in those countries, or in Lebanon, are coming now to Dubai.”

rajesh 8 years ago

But it was annnounced in 2008 in boom time banks and other big companies have to, have to hire locals otherwise they will be blacklisted . Are you saying now at present time that is not case?

Jim Thompson 8 years ago

I have the deepest respect and admiration for Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, however, I disagree with him on this topic of implementation of quota's. I think it is imperative now that Dubai implement quota's because there are too many sub continent workers in Dubai and it is overwhelming for this nation. Yes, it is a safehaven, not only for people fleeing regressive governments, but for GCC nationals who are bored and dismayed by their societies. Dubai is the template for all countries in the GCC, but it is not to the advantage of a modern progressive society to hire too many people who can not think out side the box. You need innovative, forward thinking people to work in your company in roles that project Dubai forward and this can only be done by Emiritis. India is a country that runs on rote and it is not advantageous to overwhelm a progressive work environment with people that don't belong to the nation, therefore, quotas are imperative to the future of Dubai.

Billy 8 years ago

Jim I agree that the private sector needs "forward thinking people that project Dubai forward" but I fundamentally disagree with you that this can only be done by Emirati's. I also think your pigeon holing of the entire Indian nation is niaive and simplistic. This country has suffered too long from such outdated stereotyping that has affected everyone, including the creation of such falsehoods as all Emiratis are lazy. We need to move away from these sweeping, unrealistic generalisations and start to reward excellence, ability, hard work and dedication irrespective of the employees nationality. We need a competitive workforce at all levels, from all walks of life and I therefore totally agree with Lt Gen Tamim. The Emirati's are too few in number to do everything themselves and so they need all the help they can get, but we also need to pay them the respect of letting them earn their place in the private sector. Let us foster constructive competitiveness not hand out jobs for the boys

khdmohd energy expert 8 years ago

Quotas are needed and with special conditions suited for the UAE business enviroment , The population in the UAE is unique and such quotas are needed to protect, and to create more jobs for our future national workforce . I strongly believe that we are blessed with wise rulers in our beloved country. May Allah protect it .

Dubai 8 years ago

Until recently, very few countries value their national workforce unless they are an expatriate. Be it India, UAE, or elsewhere. And result = Brain drain.
Now most countries are aware of this and would like to retain them. And every country will have its own strategy. By Gog's grace UAE is coming up with a number of initiatives to hire their nationals, which is a very positive thing.
Concentration of a specific nationality in any country means the capability of those people in uplifting the country they work for.
Development of a country is not the only responsibility of the government. It lies with all people living and working within; irrespective of any nationality.

Minorities may feel insecure.

Abdulaziz 8 years ago

Whilst the main source of manpower from the sub-continent India, is racing towards super power status, the West is in shambles with Euro zone bail-outs. What about the westerners in Dubai? Are they really good for the country, are they out of the box thinkers (if so, why cannot it work in their own countries?) Or are they merely serving as excellent “entertainment” value to the emirate which is looking at attracting the world to its shores??

Sanjay 8 years ago

Maybe next time you should try to keep your xenophobia in check when making comments online.
The reason that this great country is where it is today, is because the rulers have shown great leadership and have implemented policies that focus only on the development of the nation rather than a racist agenda. Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan is right, UAE needs to remain a meritocracy in order to continue growing.
Last time I checked, no one was forcing you to live in this country. People who agree with your moronic theories regarding people of the subcontinent and people who believe that color of your skin is the only thing that should decide your place in society.

Indian, imaginative thinker 8 years ago

I cannot honestly believe that in today's day and age, you (Jim Thompson) adhere to such medieval and archaic forms of egocentricity and stereotyping.

I hope by now, you see the falacy of your own comment, and are persuaded to drop this absolutely absurd thought process.

P.S: If all Indians are so 'rote' intensive, and unimaginative, how exactly is their economy growing at a rate of 8-10% per year over the past decade?

Shakil Shaikh 8 years ago

It is very encouraging to read that nationals (as well) will be hired on their merit and qualifications basis.

This is an absolutely positive and progressive way forward.

Beside many good aspect to this move; it will encourage nationals to sharpen their skills and be equally competitive with the rest. This will eventually put the right people (nationals) at the right places.

Jahan 8 years ago

100% agree with Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, There should not be any preference to either black or white but to their knowledge, confidence & talent.