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Abu Dhabi Municipality Emiratization strategy

Discuss about the International Council for Small Business.

This report has been constructed to understand the significance of the emiratization of Abu Dhabi Municipality. The report has considered few facts such as objectives of the emiratization, viability of the process, what achievements the organization has achieved till now. Moreover, strength of the emiratization process has also been described in this report. Weak points that has affected the concept of emiratization has also been discussed here. Apart from that, a five year development plan has also been attached here so that upcoming planning of the Abu Dhabi municipality on economic and social approaches can be assessed.

The main objective of this report is to make viable documentation that can be helpful to understand the overall event of the emiratization and its impact on the socio-economic condition of the Abu Dhabi.

UAE has taken a vision for the effective assimilation of the UAE nationals into the workforce market; this vision was taken a decade ago and eventually has become one of the main priority for the different governmental and private sector. The main focus is to create opportunities for sustainable employment for the nationals of the UAE and make them compatible to the competitive market.

As mentioned before, the objective of the emiratization of the Abu Dhabi Municipality is to produce sustainable job opportunities so that the UAE nationals can enjoy the opportunity. The government has objectified this initiative to provide employment in an efficient and meaningful way for both the private and public sectors (Pinnington et al. 2013). As per the reports, number of highly educated people is increasing day by day; however, in comparison to the educated people the opportunity of secured and satisfactory jobs are less; the objective of this initiative is to disseminate quality education and organize effective programs on human resource development. UAE government has set a goal to improve the potentiality of the educational system to result in efficient human capital and make them ready as per the requirement of the job market. For the successful accomplishment of the planning of emitarization UAE municipality has taken the following steps like:

Human Resource Authoritie (HRA) was established in 2005 with the vision of development of a competent national workforce for the UAE nationals and provides them sustainable job opportunities. HRA has taken few initiatives towards the emiratisation such as it helps the jobseekers with different types of qualification and skill by providing career oriented services such as development of the skill and knowledge, career guidance programs, vocational trainings, occupational rehabilitation along with different specialized programs for the employment (Al-Waqfi  and Forstenlechner 2014). Apart from that, HRA has also signed a MoU with the Turret Middle East to publish a monthly magazine that will depict on the emiratization issues of Abu Dhabi Municipality. For better understanding, the effective impact on different sectors can be followed:

Setting up of Human Resource Authorities

Public sector has involved almost 52% of the job opportunities in UAE. As UAE citizens are more attracted towards the public sector due to its prospectus job packages, job securities and shorter working hours, UAE municipality has subjected the public sector for the emiratization. For instance, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority can be taken. Tourism industry provides employment opportunities for UAE jobseekers and it also presumes that the rate of employment can be increased with the upcoming years. It has also focused on the diverged initiatives to attract locals to work in this sector (Toledo 2013). The Abu Dhabi municipality has taken the agenda of creating as much as possible scope for the new job offers. In this regard, Abu Dhabi Municipality has also taken steps to work cooperatively with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Retirement, pension and benefits funds and Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police. As education council has taken the approach of strategic plan for development of the standard of higher education and equip the jobseekers with the appropriate qualification and skills. Moreover, directorate of Abu Dhabi police also attracts the high school students and graduates for various posts in civil and military department. Another important factor in this part is Abu Dhabi Municipality has also become successful to draw the female employees for the job in police department by breaking the male dominating perception.

 This is another concern of the Abu Dhabi M municipality to secure the employment of their citizens. Al-Jarwan and Omar (2015), mentioned that private sector is required to contribute as much as the public sector to avoid saturation in any particular industry. The human resource department of the Abu DhABI Municipality has taken the strategy of building a strong relationship with the human resource authority of the private companies so that they can be updated with the new openings and the recruitment planning of the private sectors. In private sector, banking sector is the largest sector that employs maximum employees from the UAE. There is an initiative taken to train and employ 215 UAE citizens who are searching for the job.

The main aim behind the emiratization in Abu Dhabi Municipality is to develop the standard of the education, prepare the graduates or job seekers with proper training and career oriented education so that they can easily get acknowledged with the proper knowledge required for the professional attributes (Vassilopoulou et al. 2013). Moreover, creating new job opportunities an involving the private sectors so that maximum UAE national can be given job are another vision of the emiratization.

Emiratisation in the public sector

This initiative of emiratization has become viable for the UAE nationals because the step has successfully opened a new dimension for the citizens of the UAE. The main problem was that most of the people here hold a certificate of higher education and job opportunities were less. Due to this initiative, students with higher educational qualification has now been getting options for satisfactory professions. Abu Dhabi Municipality has tied up with different entities to secure the job opportunity for their citizens. The approach of emiratization is viable for the current context because the country is lacking an appropriate job structure; moreover, due to a liberal immigration policy number of the foreign workers has been increased day by day making the job constraints for the nationals of the UAE (Daleure 2016). Emiratization in UAE was taken as the demand for local workforce was increasing and to reduce the dependency on the expatriates. The UAE government has taken several approaches to control the unemployment and create new positions for the citizens of the UAE; however, due to an ineffective and strong governmental intervention the approaches were not successful before. In such a context, the approach to nationalize the process of the employment to make the nation more economically strong is highly viable.

During the year of 2015, Abu Dhabi Municipality has almost achieved the 87% of the emiratization. This includes both the posted and non-posted along with the contracted emirati workers. The number of the emirati workers has reached up to 2058 against the 314 expatriates; making it total of 2372 (Abdusheikh 2012). According to report the emiratization rate of Abu Dhabi Municipality’s organizational structure is 94%. The number of emiratis is 2013 along with the 149 expatriate employees; thus, the total number of emiratis in organizational structure is 2152 employees (Abdusheikh 2012). Frok this data, it is clear that the Abu Dhabi Municipality possess high interest on the implementation of the policy for job succession, empowerment of the UAE nationals to hold the employment opportunities and make the jobseekers well equipped with the required knowledge through educating them public institutions so that the vision of the Abu Dhabi for emiratizaation can be achieved (Proctor 2016). Abu Dhabi Municipality has been progressing since last few years in terms of making proper opportunities for the nationals of the UAE. The municipality has taken the shot for the administrative and technical field. The municipality has provided the required training and education of different fields so that the graduates can be subjected to the plethora of opportunities; it has in turn helped to boost the emiratization level of the Abu Dhabi Municipality more (Shokry, Thabit and Al Mansoori 2016). The Municipality is looking for the strategic objectives to secure almost 95% job opportunities for the 95% of the emiratis out of total workforce in the municipality.

Emiratization in private sector

Not only securing the job opportunity, the emitratization has also effected the feamale employment in the Abu Dhabi municipality. In the year of 2015, 127 females have been employed but the municipality and for the municipality’s organizational structure the number of the female employees have reached up to 129 (Daleure 2017). These females successfully regulate the administrative, technical and other leading activities of the municipality. As per the report, there are 7 females in the grade two, 18 in grade three, 39 in grade four, 13 in grade five, 39 in grade six and 13 in grade seven.  The municipality aims to increase the number of female employees in the municipality by 35% for the total workforce (Daleure 2017). The total number of the female employees including posted, non-posted and contracted is 732, out of which 315 is the emirati and for the organizational structure the number of the emiratis is 724 (Daleure 2016); 34% out of them are emiratis. Moreover, three employees have also been recruited this year on the special needs making the total number of 18 for the special needs employees among the targeted 45.

Human resource department has helped the Abu Dhabi Municipality to recruit more employees by creating new offices for the safety, health and environmental issues. Formation of these new jobs has created new 101 posts for jobseekers (Daleure 2017). On addition, the Abu Dhabi Municipalities has also adopted a new approach to create new job opportunities by creating a work team that works on the sub-centre projects that is monitored by the Municipality itself to increase the role of the municipality in the external affairs. Employees working in this provision can enjoy the facilities as same as offered by the head office of the municipality (Daleure 2017). The number of external municipal centres has reached the number of six; the municipality has taken this approach seriously to make all the service available to the citizens and create more job opportunities for the citizens of the UAE.

Other entities of the Abu Dhabi Municipal organization such as National Infrastructure authority, Department of Economic Development have also looking forward to make more job opportunities to meet the vision of the emiratization.

Emiratization has opened a new path of professional opportunities for the nationals of the UAE. emiratization has introduced a number of positive attribute that have made this initiative practical to the local workforce. Emiratization has provided the ray of hope to the uncountable students and jobseekers that have completed their graduates and other higher education nevertheless have been left with no appropriate and secure job (de Waal and Frijns 2016). Emiratization is important in current context of the Abu Dhabi due to the following reason-

Provision of proper education: One of the main approaches of the emiratization is provision of the guidance to the jobseekers. Al Saiqal (2015), mentioned that it is highly required that the candidates must have the proper the knowledge on the particular industry and should be ready to face the challenges of the competitive market. To make the jobseekers practically acknowledged the Abu Dhabi Municipality has tied up with different entities (El-Temtamy, O'Neill and Midraj 2016); provision of the training and relevant job oriented education has helped emiratization to strong position in the socio-economic aspect of the Abu Dhabi.

Creation of new and hidden opportunities: Due to the emiratization many ways have been explored by the Abu Dhabi Municipality to make the more place for the new joiners. Abu Dhabi Municipality has extended its service by creating new sub centres; a number of graduated students have been employed for this centres. Moreover, Abu Dhabi Municipality has also focused on the engineering and administrative sectors and suggested to employ more emiratis on these posts. Emiratiation has helped the Abu Dhabi municipality to search for the potential areas that can be helpful to disclose new job opportunities (Schiliro 2013). New governing bodies have been formed to ease the administrative process as well as to create new post for the graduate and other jobseekers.

Lower the dependency on foreign workforce: It is one of the mottos behind the emiratization. Over dependency of the private sector on the foreign workforce has become a serious concern in Abu Dhabi (Schiliro 2013). Due to such situation, public sector has been facing the risk of saturation; on the other hand due to the flexible immigration regulation, foreign workforce has shared the place of the local workforce. Emiratization has announced few regulatory provisions that have helped to narrow the dependency of the foreign workforce. Private sectors are strictly instructed to follow the quota system for the local workforces. Moreover, training and guidance has helped the jobseekers approachable to the requirements of the private sectors.

Encouragement for the female employment: It is highly appreciable approach that has been resulted by the emiratization. Emiratization has helped to suppress the male domination in the professional sector of Abu Dhabi (Kemp 2013). Females have been also invited to be the Emirati worker and join the different organizations. Females have been also encouraged to work in the higher positions of administration. Abu Dhabi Municipality has itself appointed many female employees for different positions.

Therefore, it can be said that these approaches are responsible to make the emiartization realistic and practical approach for this generation and the upcoming generations of the Abu Dhabi.

Though the emiratization has a number of positive aspects there are few concerns that have been criticized regarding the different dimensions of this approach. The barriers that have weakened the approach of emiratization are as follows:

Environment for the labour market: As mentioned by, Bodolica and Spraggon (2014), notion of dual labour market is present in UAE. The UAE citizens are inclined to the public sector jobs as their expectation regarding the working policies and wage system is high. They often prefer to wait for the public sector jobs for years even after knowing even after knowing that it could take more time only to avoid the profit-oriented jobs of private sector. Due to this reason, citizens of UAE are majorly employed by the public sectors. As a result, the public sector is getting saturated and it has left no choice for the huge employment of future generation. Though the Abu Dhabi municipality has taken few steps to make the jobseekers and graduates viable for the job profiles of the private sector; the expectation and thinking of the UAE citizens has not stand up to the initiatives taken in emiritization. Moreover, issues with the foreign employees are also serious (Marchon and Toledo 2014). As the expectation of the UAE citizens are high private companies ensure the fact that they only hire the foreigners in this sector; thus for the nationals it has become insecure to work in a private sector.

Difference in cultural aspects: It is another high concern because the working culture in the private sector is totally different from that of the public sector; hence, people finds it incompatible to work in a working culture that requires more physical involvement, includes risk factors (Afiouni, Ruël and Schuler 2014). On addition, there is another factor that involves complications over the presence of western culture in the management in private sector; this factor has also influenced the reaction of the jobseekers when it comes to the work for a private sector.

Lack of competencies and skill of the local workers: Abu Dhabi Municipality has taken initiatives to make the graduates and jobseekers capable of facing competitive markets there is far to go. The local workers lack the proper working ethics also do not have the appropriate knowledge required for the professionalism; hence, the situation has turned tough for the local workforce to take the place of expatriates.

Policy formation and implementation: To make the emiratization successful different policies have been formed as well as implemented across the different entities of the country. However, Forstenlechner et al. (2012), mentioned that implementation of the proposed provisions has created complications across different organizations and authorities. For example, National Bank of Dubai has criticized the approach of emiritization and the initiatives like quota system for the local workforce and restricting the work permits of the foreign employee etc. in their quarterly report they have mentioned that implementation of those strategies has no such holistic understanding and criticized the initiatives as the fragmented initiatives. Moreover, Spraggon and Bodolica (2014), mentioned that instructions of replacing the expatriate workers with the local workforce without investigating the fact whether the local graduates are capable and qualified enough to meet the requirement is impulsive.

Hence, it can be said that the Abu Dhabi Municipality is required to revise their strategies and regulations to avoid any complications. Regulations must be implemented in such a way that does not hamper the productivity and the quality as well as can satisfy the demand of the nation.

Higher committee supervises the five year planning for the development and future planning of the emiratization where discussion on different measures takes place that can be adopted to make the initiative of the emiratization more successful across the country. Different officials from the different authorities from the statistical, financial, government and educational sector usually participate in the meeting and discuss on different issues on the economic and social concern. For the economic concerns, discussions should be drawn on the facts like developmental projects get completed within the next five years along with that in this meeting an important approach should be encouraged by the officials that contribution of the private sector must be increased than the present rate of contribution. On this regard, cooperation of the governmental entities should be discussed in the meeting. According to the report, factors that can act as the stimulator for the private sector to improve the rate of involvement in the emiratization will be listed and evaluated. Recommendation should be revised on challenges that can arise during the implementation of the factors. It must be investigated and proper steps should be taken to overcome those challenges. To look for the every possibility, the attendants of this meeting should take the matter of observing the small and medium sized enterprises so that new scope of employment can be found. On addition, focus should be given on the partnership between the public and private sector so that complications that the process of emiratization has been facing can be eradicated. As mentioned by, Hasan (2015), planning to obtain any strategic approach helps in conducting the assessment of the comprehensive regular fields that can be helpful to understand the graph of the economic development. Furthermore, it will also help to track the performance of the key sectors that are influential to achieve the goal of a planning.

 Five years planning should prioritize the fact of the integrity within the governmental organization so that maximum number of the job opportunities can be obtained. Not only this should the planning signify each sector’s individual planning to understand the different criteria required to reach the goal of emiratization. Importance must be given on both the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the economic sector and required to understand the present economic context of the nation comparison to the international business scenario (Modarress, Ansari and Lockwood 2013). To stand strong in the competitive market Abu Dhabi Municipality should give importance to the several industries like events and tourism industry, logistics and transportation, renewable sources and alternative energy, media, information and communication technology etc along with the traditional health financial and education industry. Five year planning can be helpful for the Abu Dhabi Municipality to keep the pace with long term vision of the emiratization and to take appropriate approaches to meet the objectives of the emiratization.


This report has intended to form a document on the emratization and its significance. Abu Dhabi municipality has taken an initiative to make the lifestyle of the UAE nationals better by providing them job opportunities and job security. Emiratization has helped the country to follow a path where the jobseekers can get the knowledge and proper education to enrich the professional expertise. Moreover, Abu Dhabi Municipality has also focused on the formation of new authorities so that more employment can be invited for these new entities. In this report, objectives of the emiratization have been described to understand the main features of this approach. Moreover, viability of this approach has been discussed in the context of present social and economic aspects. Successes, achieved by the Abu Dhabi Municipality have also been explained here. Moreover, the strengths and weaknesses have also been discussed to understand the analytical approach of the emiratization. Another important part of this report is to establishment of the five years strategic plan for to know the future prospects of the emiratization.

Hence, it can be said that this report has successfully fulfilled all the requirements needed to understand the major attributes of the emiratization. This report can be further reviewed while conducting the extensive research on this topic.

Reference list:

Abdusheikh, M., 2012. Emiratization: United Arab Emirates national workforce development program. Pepperdine University.

Afiouni, F., Ruël, H. and Schuler, R., 2014. HRM in the Middle East: toward a greater understanding. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(2), pp.133-143.

Al Saiqal, N.Y., 2015, January. Entrepreneurial Intentions of UAE Youth: A Work In Progress. In ICSB World Conference Proceedings (p. 1). International Council for Small business (ICSB).

Al-Jarwan, A. and Omar, S., 2015, November. New Era for Quality Emiratization of Front-Line Workforce Utilizing Process Training Pilot Plants. In Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Al-Waqfi, M.A. and Forstenlechner, I., 2014. Barriers to Emiratization: the role of policy design and institutional environment in determining the effectiveness of Emiratization. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(2), pp.167-189.

Bodolica, V. and Spraggon, M., 2014. Managing Organizations in the United Arab Emirates: Dynamic Characteristics and Key Economic Developments. Springer.

Daleure, G., 2016. Emiratization in the UAE Labor Market: Opportunities and Challenges. Springer.

Daleure, G., 2017. Challenges to Full Emirati Employment. In Emiratization in the UAE Labor Market (pp. 39-48). Springer Singapore.

Daleure, G., 2017. Economic Vision of the UAE. In Emiratization in the UAE Labor Market (pp. 27-37). Springer Singapore.

Daleure, G., 2017. Education, the Work Force, and Emiratization. In Emiratization in the UAE Labor Market (pp. 95-111). Springer Singapore.

Daleure, G., 2017. Emiratization Progress and Challenges. In Emiratization in the UAE Labor Market (pp. 113-119). Springer Singapore.

Daleure, G.M., 2016. Holistic Sustainability as Key to Emiratization: Links Between Job Satisfaction in the Private Sector and Young Emirati Adult Unemployment. In FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education (Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 2).

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El-Temtamy, O., O'Neill, K.K. and Midraj, S., 2016. Undergraduate employability training and employment: a UAE study. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 6(1), pp.100-115.

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Modarress, B., Ansari, A. and Lockwood, D.L., 2013. Emiratisation: from policy to implementation. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 13(2-3), pp.188-205.

Pinnington, A.H., Vassilopoulou, J., Tatli, A. and Ozbilgin, M., 2013. Competition for Talent Between the Public and the Private Sectors through Emiratization Quotas.

Proctor, Y., 2016. Rethinking Emiratization: the consequences of Emiratization on capitals deployment, HR practices and skill development in the UAE public sector: a case study (Doctoral dissertation, University of Leicester).

Schiliro, D., 2013. Diversification and development of the UAE’s economy.

Schiliro, D., 2013. DIVERSIFICATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES’ECONOMY. Journal of Applied Economic Sciences (JAES), (2 (24)), pp.228-239.

Shokry, K., Thabit, S.M. and Al Mansoori, N., 2016, November. Innovative Approach for Quality Emiratization and Cost Optimization. In Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

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Vassilopoulou, J., Ozbilgin, M.F., Tatli, A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2013, January. Competition for Talent Between the Public and the Private Sectors through Emiratization Quotas. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2013, No. 1, p. 10034). Academy of Management.

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