UAE companies with 50 or more employees are required to achieve their biannual Emiratisation quota by June 30, as reminded by authorities on Tuesday. These companies must have increased their Emirati workforce by 1% before the specified deadline, as stated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre).

Starting from July 1, the ministry will enforce compliance among companies and levy penalties. Private companies in the UAE must annually raise the percentage of their Emirati employees by 2% to reach a minimum of 10% by 2026, with the target split into 1% increments for the first and second halves of the year.

A recent report from Mohre revealed that over 97,000 Emiratis are currently employed in more than 20,000 private companies in the country, showcasing the efficacy of government Emiratisation measures such as the Nafis programme, according to Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Mohre has expanded the scope of Emiratisation to include companies with 20 to 49 employees in line with a UAE Cabinet decision earlier this year. More than 12,000 companies falling in this category are now mandated to hire at least one Emirati in 2024 and another in 2025, operating across 14 specific economic sectors. Stringent inspections are conducted regularly to ensure adherence.

Since the launch of the Nafis programme in September 2021, the total number of Emirati employees in the private sector has surged by approximately 170%. Mohre called on companies to strive for Emiratisation compliance and highlighted the resourceful Nafis platform, which facilitates the employment of qualified Emiratis possessing requisite skills across diverse domains.

Last week, Mohre identified 1,379 companies that flouted Emiratisation targets by illicitly hiring 2,170 UAE citizens since mid-2022. The non-compliant companies faced penalties, rating downgrades, and referral of some cases to the Public Prosecution. Monetary fines were imposed retroactively from the date of violation, coupled with the mandate for corrective actions to be taken.