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Emiritisation Update: Small to Medium Companies to Hire Emirati Nationals to Avoid AED96,000 Fine

The Emiratisation mandate for businesses employing 20-49 individuals is aligned with the continuous enforcement of Emiratisation goals for larger companies with 50 or more employees. The latter are obligated to attain a 2% yearly increase in Emiratisation within their skilled workforce.

In a strategic move to enhance Emiratisation across diverse economic sectors, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has embarked on the implementation of a Cabinet decision. This decision marks a significant expansion in the scope of companies subject to Emiratisation targets. Over 12,000 companies, each with 20-49 employees and operating within 14 specific economic sectors, are now mandated to hire at least one UAE citizen in 2024, with an additional requirement of another hire in 2025.

Notification and Compliance:

The ministry has taken a digital approach to inform and guide these targeted companies, ensuring a seamless transition into compliance. By notifying over 12,000 companies, MoHRE aims to provide ample time for these entities to align their hiring strategies with the stipulated Emiratisation targets. This proactive step demonstrates the government's commitment to facilitating a smooth transition for businesses, emphasising collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Emiritisation Across Diverse Economic Sectors:

The targeted companies span 14 key economic sectors, reflecting the government's recognition of the potential for job creation and conducive working environments within these industries. The sectors include:

  1. Information and Communications

  2. Finance and Insurance

  3. Real Estate

  4. Professional and Technical Activities

  5. Administrative and Support Services

  6. Education

  7. Healthcare and Social Work

  8. Arts and Entertainment

  9. Mining and Quarrying

  10. Transformative Industries

  11. Construction

  12. Wholesale and Retail

  13. Transportation and Warehousing

  14. Accommodation and Hospitality

These sectors, characterised by rapid growth, present ample opportunities for the integration of Emirati talent into their workforce. The initiative aligns with broader national goals to diversify the economy and cultivate a skilled local workforce.

Strategic Implications:

The decision to expand Emiratisation targets to smaller companies recognizes the pivotal role they play in the economic landscape. By incorporating these businesses into the national workforce development plan, the government aims to create a more inclusive job market and ensure sustainable economic growth.

Implications of Non-Compliance:

Failure to adhere to the newly introduced Emiratisation targets carries financial consequences for companies falling short of their mandated hiring quotas. The decision outlines an annual financial obligation for non-compliant companies, amounting to Dh96,000 for each UAE citizen not appointed in 2024. Commencing from January 2025, these financial contributions serve as a means of encouraging prompt compliance.

Furthermore, companies that fail to meet the 2025 Emiratisation targets will face a financial penalty of Dh108,000, with collection slated for January 2026. Recognising the potential challenges businesses may encounter, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) allows flexibility by permitting companies to fulfill their contributions through installment plans, subject to mutual agreement.


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