Monday, February 13, 2006

More time for trading firms to meet emiratisation target :: Gulf News

Trading companies have been given extra time to comply with an emiratisation target after a study showed that most are falling far short of employing the required number of UAE nationals. Firms now have until the end of April this year to meet the 2005 emiratisation target of two per cent.
. . .
a decree issued by the Board of Ministers in 2004 made it mandatory for trading companies with more than 50 staff to have a two per cent yearly increase in the number of UAE nationals working in the company. . . .

Last year, circulars on the law were issued to 1,098 companies, but just 646 responded by submitting their records. . . . Just 259 of the 158,404 people employed in the 646 companies were UAE nationals which works out at a mere 0.16 per cent.
Wages in the trade sector are low. The wages necessary to attract nationals into the sector are well above the market wages in the sector. Unless and until the government fines firms who do not meet emiratization targets - or rewards them for meeting goals - firms have no incentive to hire the much more expensive national.

Let's not forget that all companies in the UAE must have substantial local ownership. It's not a matter of bias or discrimination against nationals; paying someone more than the going wage is an act of charity. Most businesses are for-profit enterprises, not charities.

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