Slowdown isn’t slowing Emiratisation

Many thinks that because the recruitment has slowed significantly within the UAE banking sector, the Emiratisation would be taking a back seat. Surprisingly, many firms are still increasing their proportion of locals, but the job-hopping of previous years has come to a halt.

Dubai Bank is aiming for 30% Emiratisation.  For example, Abu Dhabi Investment Company has started hiring spree of Emirati graduates for a scheme designed to fast track them to management positions and Abu-Dhabi Islamic Bank has taken on 150 locals this year.

Moreover, it is not just the local banks that are aiming to increase Emiratis, HSBC’s Middle East CEO Youssef Nasr said: “Our goal is to achieve above and beyond the government’s Emiratisation targets.”

It would still be slightly naïve to suggest that the push towards Emiratisation is entirely unaffected by the economic downturn.

The Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) stated many financial firms in the UAE are simply not expanding this year and those that are often recruit expats. The chairman of ENDP Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer said: “It is not logical that the private sector can accommodate thousands of the expatriate workforce and is not able to provide jobs for UAE Emiratis,” said,.

Moreover, Paula McManus, head of learning and development at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi declared that the firm is going to “substantially increase” the number of UAE nationals in 2009, including 100 management trainees.

Due the limited amount of Emirati banking talent, those that worked in the sector were often able to move between jobs for vastly inflated salaries. McManus said “the real competition is at the mid- to senior management level,”. He added, “That market is still quite healthy in terms of people moving. The more inexperienced level is much more stable than it was 12 months ago.”

Richard Lett, head of banking at recruiters RP International, stated, “Firms are being offered an embarrassment of riches in terms of international banking talent. While, they obviously need to fulfill government quotas of UAE nationals, it is no longer top of the agenda”.

Clarke, P. (2009). Slowdown isn’t slowing Emiratisation. Retrieved December 29, 2010, from,


1 Comment »

  1. Hesa & Nora Said:

    Great, I guess this step is a positive step toward hiring more national youths in the private sectors.
    And hoping that this step won’t be only taking in the banking sector, but to exceed and reach the other sectors.
    Interesting news =)

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