Consulting Agency

There have been significant changes to the United Arab Emirates' emiratisation programme.

Previously, the requirement to hire Emiratis only applied to companies with 50 or more employees.

The new emiratisation rules apply to private companies operating in 14 economic sectors, including real estate, education, construction and healthcare. A fine of AED96,000 ($26,000) by 2024 will be levied for violations of emiratisation regulations and non-compliance, and will increase to AED108,000 ($30,000) by 2025 for not having two UAE nationals on the company's payroll.

These new emiratisation rules apply to the following industries:

- Information Technology and Communications
- Finance and insurance
- Real estate
- Professional and technical activities
- Administrative and support services
- Arts and Entertainment
- Mining and quarrying
- Innovation
- Education
- Health and social work
- Construction
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Transport and logistics
- Hospitality and residence services

From 8 July 2023, fines for private companies for violating emiratisation norms came into effect, amounting to AED 42,000 (USD 11,400) for each UAE national not employed. The emiratisation norms apply to all companies with 50 or more employees. Currently, an emiratisation rate of 1% has been set, but this will increase to 2% by the end of 2023. UAE nationals can only be hired for qualified positions.

Fines for breaches of regulations will increase by AED 1,000 annually until 2026. By this time, private sector companies must achieve a 10% emiratisation rate.