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New Emiratization rule comes into force: UAE companies with between 20 and 49 employees must hire at least one Emirati by 2024

The targeted companies operate in 14 specific key economic sectors, including information and communications; Finance and Insurance; real estate; professional and technical activities; administrative and support services; education; healthcare and social work; art and Entertainment; mines and quarries; transforming industries; construction; Wholesale and retail; transportation and storage; and accommodation and hospitality, all of which are currently experiencing rapid growth and have the capacity to provide jobs and a suitable work environment for Emiratis.

The MoHRE issued a statement urging companies subject to the decision to “quickly meet their Emiratization targets and avoid delaying it until the end of the year.”

The ministry said: “It is crucial that targeted companies register on the Nafis platform in order to benefit from the support provided by the program in terms of providing the private sector with qualified Emirati professionals capable of working efficiently in various targeted economic sectors, along with other advantages from which they can benefit.”

MoHRE added that it will continue to conduct training workshops to educate companies subject to the decision on the procedures to follow to meet the required objectives, as well as instructing them on how to benefit from the support provided by the Nafis platform.

The decision includes imposing annual financial contributions on companies that do not meet the required targets, amounting to Dh96,000 for each UAE citizen not named in 2024, to be collected from January 2025. In the meantime, contributions will be imposed financial of 108,000 dirhams. for failure to meet the 2025 targets, which will be collected in January 2026. Companies will be able to pay their contributions in installments, according to the MoHRE.

The Emiratization decision for companies with between 20 and 49 employees applies alongside the ongoing implementation of Emiratization targets for companies with 50 or more employees, which must achieve two percent annual growth in the Emiratization of their skilled jobs.

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