Emiratization campaign to reduce number of foreign employees
Sources within Abu Dhabi announced that large numbers of foreign employees have been laid off in order to reduce costs and to help employ the Emirati youth. The source said the campaign, named Emiratization, has been adopted by the higher authorities on the Executive Board sponsored by the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This campaign is supervised by the younger brother of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Executive Board.
A foreign employee said that the Authority of Foreign Culture asked 118 employees to leave their jobs within the next three months, in order to improve national employment and to improve the system of incentives.
David Peter, director of the Department of Middle East and North Africa for the Economist said that there is a concern about the possibility of rebellion by young Emiratis due to the unemployment situation. The UAE is one of the few countries in the Arab region that didn’t witness popular protests from its youth.
Analysts say that the Emirates declined to renew contracts with some foreign staff in order to reduce salaries, as it relies on foreign employment at all economic levels, due to a lack of qualified employees.
According to the Ministry of Economy, 35,000 Emiratis are unemployed. Of those employed, only 7% work in the private sector.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said that the government training program has successfully rehabilitated more than 6,000 Emiratis to work in the public sector. On the other hand, Saqr Gobash, the Minister of Labor, believes it is important to save 20,000 jobs a year in the private sector for the next ten years.
Ghanem Nusseibeh, Founder of Cornerstone Global Associates, headquartered in London, said that the Emirati government faces a great challenge in hiring local Emiratis who are qualified to work in the local industries, to ensure that the state retains a competitive advantage.