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Introduction to Emiratization


“Emiratisation for any organization is an informed business decision, not Corporate Social Responsibility”

UAE has become one of the fastest growing economies in the region, with the expatriate population reaching over 80% of the total population; the lowest proportion of nationals to overall population within the GCC.

Emiratisation is a strategic initiative that was developed and introduced by the UAE government to employ its citizens in a meaningful and efficient manner in the public and private sectors. It is an initiative where the main focus of the program is to create a sustainable economy, decrease the country’s reliance on expatriate workers, reduce the critical skills gap between education and what is required by the private sector, and increase participation amongst UAE nationals.


Source: National Bureau of Statistics, UAE

As highlighted in the table above, the overall employment level across UAE is 69.4%; however the employment level for UAE nationals is slightly below 40% i.e. 38.7%. Not only does this demonstrate a critical demographic imbalance, but it can also have long-term political, economic and social consequences. To offset the ever-increasing expatriate population, many countries across the GCC have introduced successful nationalization programs, within the UAE introducing ‘Emiratisation’.

While the program has been in place for more than a decade and results can be seen in the public sector, the private sector is still lagging behind with citizens only representing 0.34% of the private sector workforce.

Amongst various other recent initiatives, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered the creation of the 'Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Emiratisation' for the public and private sectors. 

The current disparity in the employment levels poses unique challenges and opportunities for the private sector to contribute towards the welfare of the society by encouraging UAE Nationals to be a part of the employment work force.

Since its establishment as the sole franchisee and distributor for Pepsi Co. in 1962, Dubai Refreshments (DRC) has been an integral part of UAE’s growth story. The company’s vision has always been to be one of the lower Gulf’s leading beverage companies, driven by top caliber people, equipped with the right tools and solid systems.

Going by this adage, it is imperative that DRC focuses its efforts to recruit top class talented UAE nationals who are results oriented with a winning attitude and who strive towards commitment and effectiveness. DRC’s Recruitment Manager, Ms. Thuraya Tabbara, is committed to growing DRC’s EMIRATI population in the very near future. This is done in support of the Senior Management team’s dedication towards investing in the careers of UAE Nationals and her team is working to various strategic partners towards this quest. Focus within the organization to have UAE nationals as a part of the company’s long term objectives.

Going forward, DRC will be making efforts towards formulating Emiratisation plans and programs criterion which measure how the company plans and implements the Emiratisation plans. Emphasis will also be placed on training and development initiatives to enhance and hone the skills of Emirati employees. As a responsible corporate citizen, DRC will also continue its association with various charities, environmental concerns and cultural bodies within the UAE.





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