Emiratisation Law





  1. Introduction to Emiratisation Law

   – What is Emiratisation?

   – Importance of Emiratisation in UAE.

  1. Historical Background

   – Origin and evolution of Emiratisation law.

   -The mandate of Emiratisation law

  1. Key Components of Emiratisation Law

   – Quota system.

   – Incentives for companies.

   – Training and development programs.

  1. Compliance Issues


   – Nafis Award

  1. Emiratisation Goals
  2. Conclusion

Emiratisation Law in UAE:

Emiratisation Law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a pivotal initiative aimed at prioritizing the employment of UAE nationals within the country’s workforce. Enacted to address the imbalance between expatriate workers and Emirati citizens, this law underscores the government’s commitment to fostering national talent and enhancing the socio-economic landscape.

Introduction to Emiratisation Law

What is Emiratisation?

Emiratisation is the initiative aimed at boosting the involvement and presence of Emirati nationals within the workforce of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Emiratisation, also known as nationalization, refers to the policy framework implemented by the UAE government to promote the hiring and development of Emirati nationals across various sectors. It encompasses strategies to increase the participation of UAE citizens in the labor market, thereby reducing reliance on foreign expertise.

Importance of Emiratisation in UAE

Emiratisation is not merely a regulatory requirement but a strategic imperative for the UAE. By prioritizing the employment of its citizens, the government aims to foster national identity, empower the Emirati workforce, and ensure sustainable economic growth.

Historical Background

The roots of Emiratisation can be traced back to the early stages of the UAE’s formation. As the nation embarked on its journey of development, the leadership recognized the need to safeguard the interests of its citizens in the workforce. Over the years, Emiratisation has evolved into a comprehensive policy framework with targeted interventions and incentives.

Origin and Evolution of Emiratisation Law

The Emiratisation law has undergone several iterations, reflecting the changing dynamics of the UAE’s economy and labor market. From its inception, the law has been instrumental in shaping employment practices and fostering a conducive environment for Emirati job seekers.

The mandate of Emiratisation law

Under the Emiratisation law, private-sector enterprises are required to hire Emirati workers constituting a minimum of 2% of their total skilled workforce annually. This implies that each company must employ at least one Emirati worker for every 50 skilled employees, or fewer. The breakdown of this requirement is detailed as follows:

  • For 0-50 skilled workers: Employ at least 1 Emirati employee.
  • For 51-100 skilled workers: Employ at least 2 Emirati employees.
  • For 101-150 skilled workers: Employ at least 3 Emirati employees.
  • For more than 150 skilled workers: Employ 1 Emirati worker for every 50 employees or less.

Key Components of Emiratisation Law

Emiratisation law encompasses a range of measures designed to facilitate the integration of UAE nationals into the workforce.

  • Quota System

One of the central tenets of Emiratisation is the imposition of quotas requiring companies to maintain a certain percentage of Emirati employees. National objectives periodically review these quotas to ensure alignment across sectors.

  •  Incentives for Companies

To incentivize compliance, the government offers a host of benefits to companies that prioritize Emiratisation. These incentives may include financial grants, preferential treatment in government contracts, and streamlined visa procedures.

  • Training and Development Programs

Recognizing the need to bridge skill gaps, Emiratisation law mandates the provision of training and development opportunities for Emirati workers. Employers are encouraged to invest in vocational training, mentorship programs, and career advancement initiatives.

 Compliance Issues

Ensuring compliance with Emiratisation regulations remains a perennial challenge for authorities. Penalties for non-compliance exist, but we need to strengthen enforcement mechanisms to effectively deter violations.


NAFIS represents a federal initiative geared towards enhancing the competency of the Emirati workforce and facilitating their integration into positions within the private sector of the United Arab Emirates within the upcoming five years. This endeavor constitutes a segment of the overarching “Projects of the 50” initiative, which is designed to expedite the progress of the UAE.


Launched during 2022-2023, the Nafis Award aims to recognize the exemplary contributions of top private sector companies to Emiratisation efforts while also acknowledging exceptional Emirati talent.  As well as honoring Emiratis in the private sector who prove to be an effective force in various economic sectors, the awards also recognize Emiratis in the public sector.

Emiratisation Goals

In 2023, businesses must have 4% of their skilled workforce represented by Emiratis. This necessitates private sector employers to actively recruit, retain, and support local talent amidst growing competition.

Private enterprises outside free zones, employing 50 or more skilled workers, must enhance Emirati participation in skilled roles. This entails achieving a 1% incremental increase every six months, reaching a 2% Emiratisation target by year-end.

The overarching objective is to elevate Emiratisation in the skilled workforce by a minimum of 10% by 2026, signifying a concerted effort toward national workforce development.


Emiratisation law represents a bold and visionary initiative to empower Emirati nationals and build a resilient economy for the future. Fostering a culture of inclusivity and opportunity, not only transforms individual lives but also paves the way for a prosperous and harmonious society.