UAE welcomes entrepreneurs of change – News


The Emiratisation plan includes issuing regulations and setting new targets to provide 20,000 job opportunities for Emiratis in strategic sectors over the next three years.

The UAE has pioneered the diversification of its economy in the region, building a strong and resilient ecosystem which is affirmed by the policies it has rolled out in recent past.

The path-breaking announcement of one such policy that will shape the jobs market or shape future trends was made recently by the wise leadership of allowing Emiratisation in the top five strategic sectors including aviation, banking, insurance, real estate and telecoms.

The strategic sectors will see the blend of Emiratisation and at the same time global talents exploring the opportunities offered by the UAE. And what will be the possible outcome of the same? The nation bolstered with talents and a knowledge base.

The Emiratisation plan includes issuing regulations and setting new targets to provide 20,000 job opportunities for Emiratis in strategic sectors over the next three years, with an average of 6,700 jobs annually.

Under the plan, a Dh300 million fund will be established to create specialised training programmes for Emiratis as well as a new system will be adopted to train 8,000 Emirati graduates annually in government, semi-government and private entities for 6-12 months.

Following an extensive plan, Emirati employees shall be integrated in positions that meet their skills and expertise in vital sectors.

“Human capital is the fuel of nations. Uniting efforts of our national cadres and foreign talents will accelerate our journey towards the future,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Recently, 2,500 intellectuals, scientists and investors received permanent residence in the UAE.
On his official Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We celebrate the first group of scientists, researchers and investors who received the Golden Permanent Residence in the UAE. There are 2,500 of them. We welcome them. UAE is a country of scientists and knowledge, and talented people and entrepreneurs of change.”

The Ministry of Economy is predicting a rise in the share of the non-oil sector in the UAE’s GDP to 80 per cent by 2021, compared to 70 per cent in 2017 while stating that the UAE has the most diverse economy in the GCC and the region.

The strategic sectors identified by the UAE will see paradigm shift and churn out the best talents making it more competitive.

“The strategic sectors identified by the decision are sectors that have a strong presence of semi-government organisations. I feel that the selection of these sectors is very smart and pragmatic,” said Abdulmuttalib Hashim, managing director of TBH Consultancy.

Hashim opines that semi-government organisations within these sectors will be expected to lead Emiratisation efforts, and hopefully encouraging other private sector companies to follow suit.
“This is also a smart approach to gradually transition local youth to the private sector in a familiar environment and to a degree ‘safer’ in terms of job security which has always been a concern among emiratis when it comes to the private sector,” added Hashim.

“A statement from Sheikh Mohammed reiterating to both international professionals and the private sector that the government will continue to support Emiratisation, it will also make sure that the need to attract international talent and to support the private sector financially or through legislation will also continue and not stop.”

In the UAE, the insurance industry is a specialised financial sector that has sought early on to increase its emiratisation rates through attracting young and capable Emirati specialists in recent years.

Abdulla Al Nuaimi, executive vice-president for Shared Services at Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (Adnic), said Adnic holds one of the highest emiratisation rates in its ranks in the insurance industry. “As part of its commitment to increasing these numbers and in line with our Emiratisation strategy, Adnic appointed an Emiratisation head in 2018 to drive its efforts to employ more UAE nationals in the company,” he said.

“We also need to raise awareness about the importance of the insurance sector through workshops that educate Emiratis on the insurance sector and encourage them to work in the field through specialised University offerings,” Al Nuaimi added.

There is also a need to develop specialised training programmes in insurance to develop their skills and offer career development. Furthermore, partnerships with legislative and regulatory bodies can be strengthened to develop effective Emiratisation strategies with clear timeframes to achieve them.

With technology disrupting the key economic sectors, the strategic sectors have been complemented by a new wave of growth. The real estate sector has been benefited by proptech, Insurance with insurtech and banking with fintech. It may be noted with startups scaling new heights in the UAE everyday, the jobs market have also undergone change the way the talents are hired and retained.

Prabhu Ramachandran, founder and CEO of Facilio, said the UAE is pursuing the goal of becoming one of the world’s leading knowledge economies.

“With Expo2020 Dubai around the corner, the influx of a global talent pool will see real estate and technology innovation take a front-seat in driving economic progress. Emiratisation will further help shape the growth, balancing it with local sensibilities and goals,” he said.

Real estate leadership eyeing Emiratisation
Real estate is the biggest asset class in the world and the leadership is on track to focus on Emiratisation, boosting the local economy, said Marwan Dalloul, CEO of American Properties.

“I believe the need of the hour is to digitising the real estate sector in Dubai to prepare talent for the jobs of the future,” said Dalloul.

The real estate sector will be witnessing major technological disruptions in the upcoming years which will compel the workforce to adapt to a new reality. In fields like brokerage, construction or property managers the required skills will evolve greatly. Real estate professionals need to realise that if they need to up their game or they will be disrupted.

“I think Dubai nowadays is witnessing a unique transformation where well-educated local talent is playing a key role in the growth of the market. I believe Emirati leaders with a better understanding of the region’s culture and local procedures can provide benefits for both private and public sector,” said Dalloul.

HRTech to shape UAE employment markets
Sridhar Subbaraman, founder and owner of Oasis Insurance Group, was recently scouting for ‘right candidate’ on social media.

The companies have today stopped what is called a ‘fit for purpose only’ recruitment unless it is a highly-skilled area of work. Today employees are called ‘human capital’. The capital should be capable of producing returns beyond the fit for purpose. The fit for purpose is now being taken over by machines. This is more visible in the government itself where the mundane and regular jobs have been automated.

“With the penetration of technology into every sphere of the business, the CV should have a right blend of industry knowledge and the disruptive technology trend which is impacting the industry. Luckily infusion of technology into the curriculum at the school level are preparing the workers and leaders of the future,” he said.

HRTech has also evolved and of course, the systems have been developed which automatically identifies fit for purpose and with the permission of the candidates do a background check on their social skills to identify the right candidate. This is more applicable in a country like the UAE, which is potpourri of various languages, culture, sensitivities and nationalities.

“Technology is further advancing to identify candidates at a global level with the required skills, social and leadership skills. It is now about head hunting and not mere recruitment. Going forward the company would look forward to have an intelligent mix of brain and machine. We are not looking for process followers anymore. Although it is referred in robotics as ‘humanoids'”.

Technologies to help HR make faster decisions
Earlier this year, a Global Talent Competitiveness Index was released, in which the UAE was ranked highest in the region and 19th in the world among 119 countries to compete for entrepreneurial talent. UAE has always welcomed talents from different regions.

The challenges in hiring the right candidate could vary as per the different positions or levels of requirement. Most of the common challenges are:
. The recruitment process can be too complex
. The experience qualification of the candidate alone may not be sufficient
. With current innovations and changes, the candidate should be flexible and have the potential to learn, grow and adapt to the culture of the organisation
. The judgment of the candidate during the recruitment phase can be more challenging without the correct data and analytics
. Hiring from sources that are of low-quality assurance. These sources can have candidates with high qualifications but low capabilities which could ultimately end up with a bad hire.

Paul Michael Gledhill, co-founder of XpertLearning, said the HR sector should pay attention to automation in the HR Technology system, predictive analysis, and big data. “This will allow the organisation to make better and more informed decisions.”

“What HR really needs to embrace is digital transformation, and look at ways where they can use AI or machine learning to automate talent acquisition. Using HR technology will certainly help to change the image of HR from slow and traditional model to a faster and more innovative one,” opined Gledhill. –


Sandhya D’Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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