TME Services

Emiratisation Updates 2024 – What Medium-Size Businesses Must Know6 min read

Author: Derya Bandak
Managing Partner Attorney at German Law

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long been a hub for international business and innovation. However, a significant shift is underway in the UAE’s labour landscape. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) recently announced expanded Emiratisation targets, impacting private companies across various sectors. We will explore these changes and what they mean for businesses in the UAE.

Expanded Emiratisation Targets

The UAE government is intensifying its Emiratisation efforts. Private companies with 20 to 49 employees are required to hire one UAE national in 2024 and another in 2025. This expansion aims to create approximately 12,000 jobs annually for UAE nationals, reflecting the government’s commitment to integrating Emirati professionals into the private sector.

Implications for Non-Compliance

The stakes for non-compliance are high. Businesses failing to meet these targets in 2024 will face a fine of AED 96,000.00 for each unfilled Emirati position. This penalty increases to AED 108,000.00 in 2026 for non-compliance in 2025. These measures underscore the importance of aligning hiring practices with the new Emiratisation standards.

Sectors Affected

The new resolution affects companies operating in 14 economic sectors, including information and communications, finance, real estate, healthcare, and more. This broad range indicates the government’s comprehensive approach to boosting Emirati employment across diverse industries.

Criteria for Company Selection

Companies have been selected based on job quality, alignment with Emiratisation goals, and geographic location. This targeted approach ensures that the policy’s impact is effective and widespread.

Addressing False Emiratisation

MoHRE is actively combating false Emiratisation practices. Companies found guilty of such violations face legal and administrative actions, including fines and lowered classification within MoHRE’s system. This crackdown is a clear message that genuine employment opportunities for UAE nationals are non-negotiable.

How TME Services can support your business

The expanded Emiratisation targets represent a significant shift in the UAE’s labour market. Companies must proactively adapt to these changes. This involves compliance and recognising the value and potential of integrating Emirati talent into their workforce. The future of business in the UAE is indelibly linked to the successful implementation of these policies, and companies that embrace this change will be well-positioned for sustainable growth and success.

TME Services is a team of 45 professionals in legal-, tax-, accounting and compliance with over 18 years of experience. We advised a significant number of SMEs in the context of the implementation of the tax framework in the UAE and KSA over the last decade to make sure that our clients are well-oriented in the new and fast-evolving tax landscape and to reduce the legal liability of managers which may arise in connection with non-compliance.

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