Women in hijab at workplace working with men
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The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) told more than 12,000 private companies consisting of 20 to 49 employees to abide by Emiratization targets, which will be effective from January 2024.

Under Cabinet Resolution No. (33/5W) of 2023, private companies are required to hire at least one United Arab Emirates (UAE) national starting next year and another in 2025, otherwise they will have to pay a hefty fine. The objective is to generate 12,000 jobs for UAE nationals annually, achieving at least 2% Emiratization growth.

"We are committed to following up the implementation of Emiratization targets, in line with the policies and resolutions of the UAE Cabinet in this regard," Ayesha Belharfia, undersecretary for Emiratization affairs at MoHRE, said on Wednesday, according to Khaleej Times.

"To that end, we adopt an integrated system of policies, standards, regulatory tools, and partnerships to achieve our objectives: empower Emirati professionals, enhance their competitiveness and broaden their engagement in the workforce across the labor market," she added.

Belharfia urged UAE nationals to quickly register on the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) platform, which aims to empower UAE nationals with real jobs, enabling them to actively participate in the country's development across various sectors.

The companies notified to comply with Emiratization targets belong to 14 specific economic sectors, including information and communications, finance and insurance, real estate, professional and technical activities, administrative and support services, education, health care and social work, arts and entertainment, mining and quarrying, transformative industries, construction, wholesale and retail, transportation and warehousing and hospitality and residency services.

The companies were selected based on certain criteria and data, including compatibility with Emiratization goals, individual growth, job quality, job continuity and geographic locations.

In August, MoHRE revealed that 565 companies were involved in hiring fake 824 UAE nationals, adding that the government will take "necessary legal and administrative action" against those companies.

"Fake Emiratization is a clear violation of Emiratisation-related decisions and the regulations of the Nafis program," the government noted at the time, adding that the efficient tracking by the ministry's digital and field monitoring system proved these violations.

Companies with violations will reportedly need to pay a fine of 96,000 dirhams ($26,000), and if two Emiratis aren't hired by 2025, they will have to pay 108,000 dirhams ($30,000). Companies have the option to settle the fine in installments.