UAE announces AED 24b Emirati Competitiveness Programme to drive Emiratisation
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

UAE announces AED 24b Emirati Competitiveness Programme to drive Emiratisation

New set of “Projects of the 50” announcements include the Emirati Salary Support Scheme paid to Emiratis to incentivize the recruitment and training of graduates in private sector companies

The United Arab Emirates has unveiled a sweeping program of reforms and financial incentives to drive new private sector opportunities for both young and experienced Emiratis, with an investment of AED 24 billion to create 75,000 new private sector jobs for Emiratis.

The new announcements include grants for students and fresh graduates to take up private sector roles, a billion Dirham graduate business development fund, a government-backed new private sector child allowance and unemployment benefit as well as career break and early retirement schemes for Federal government employees starting new businesses.

The program will be managed by the newly created Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, a body chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan with the aim of building private sector partnerships to drive 75,000 new jobs for Emiratis.

Announcing the new initiatives, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates said, “As we mark our fiftieth year as a nation, we are evolving from building world-class national infrastructure to creating brilliant sources of value and human capital. Our people are our pride and our future and we are investing to build the ideas and aspirations of our youth to create new futures in our successful business, trade and knowledge economy.”

The initiatives include the Emirati Salary Support Scheme, a one-year salary support of up to AED 8,000 per month paid to Emiratis to incentivize the recruitment and training of graduates in private sector companies. A monthly support of up to AED 5,000 will be paid for up to five years. Both sets of salary support schemes are subject to certain terms and are based on a range of defined target salaries.

Private sector companies will be able to build the Emirati contribution to their workforce over time. Focused on placing Emiratis in the private sector, the effort will start with a target of 2 percent Emiratis in skilled roles contribution rising in scale to a 10% Emirati contribution over the coming five years.

The Merit Program gives a monthly AED 5,000 top-up to Emirati workers in specialized fields, including nurses, accountants and financial auditors, commercial lawyers, financial analysts and coders; the Pension Program provides a subsidised five-year government-paid contribution on the company’s behalf against the cost of pension plans for Emirati staff and full support for the Emirati’s contribution across the first five years of their employment.

Vocational training and development programs, include the Talent Program, an AED 1.25 billion investment in developing specialized vocational skills for Emiratis, with internationally recognized certifications in property management, accounting and business management and the Apprentice Program, a train-to-hire initiative to build vocational training for Emiratis in private and semi-private companies with a range of financial awards across a number of business sectors.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, "Empowering our people is at the core of our plans for the future." He noted that the government program aims to strengthen the participation of highly qualified Emirati talents in the private sector, which plays a pivotal part in the UAE's development towards the future. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added, "we believe in the determination of our citizens to build the region's most competitive economy."