UAE offers to top up salaries for Emirati recruits

14 September 2021

The UAE is to invest $6.5bn (AED 24 billion) to attract workers to the private sector and create 75,000 jobs, as part of its “Projects of the 50” strategy to boost economic growth.

Measures include grants for students and graduates to take up private-sector roles, a AED 1bn ($272 million) graduate business development fund, a government-backed private-sector child allowance and unemployment benefit, as well as career break and early retirement schemes for federal government employees starting new businesses.

Earlier this month, the UAE announced its Projects of the 50 strategy, a series of initiatives aimed at making the country a global economic capital and testbed for technologies, as well as increasing local procurement.

The government said this latest package of funding was an investment in human capital to support its Projects of the 50 plan.

The initiatives include the Emirati salary support scheme, which pays up to AED 8,000 per month for a year to encourage private-sector companies to recruit and train Emirati graduates. 

The merit programme gives a monthly AED 5,000 top-up to Emirati workers in specialised fields, including nurses, accountants and financial auditors, commercial lawyers, financial analysts and coders. The pension programme provides a subsidised five-year government-paid contribution against the cost of pension plans for Emirati staff.

The government has an initial target of 2% Emiratis in skilled roles, rising to 10% in the next five years.

Further measures include a AED 1.25bn talent programme for specialised vocation skills, with internationally recognised certifications in property management, accounting and business management. There will also be an apprentice programme.

University final-year students and new graduates will be able to apply for “microloans” from an AED 1bn graduate fund to support exploring business startups.

To support the government’s aim of training 10,000 Emirati healthcare workers in the next five years, an educational grant scheme — the national healthcare programme — will provide qualifications in healthcare fields.

  Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.

CIPS Knowledge
Find out more with CIPS Knowledge:
  • best practice insights
  • guidance
  • tools and templates