August 04, 2023

New Emiratization Rules For Companies in the UAE


In July 2023, the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) announced new Emiratizations rules for small businesses operating in the UAE.  UAE private sector companies with 20 to 49 employees must now hire at least one UAE national in 2024 and another one by 2025.

Previously, only companies with 50 or more employees were part of the set Emiratization rules in the country.

This new requirement applies to fourteen (14) different sectors including the following:

  • Information and communications
  • Financial and insurance activities
  • Real estate
  • Professional and technical activities
  • Administrative and support services
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Transformative industries
  • Education
  • Healthcare and social work
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and retail
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Hospitality and residency services

Failure to comply with the new Emiratization rules may result in a fine of AED 96,000. By 2025 this fine is set to increase to AED 108,000 for companies that have not employed two UAE citizens.

This significant development comes as part of the UAE's Nafis Program and its goal to empower UAE nationals to occupy jobs in the country's private sector.  The Nafis Program was launched on September 13, 2021 as part of the UAE’s "Projects of the 50" supporting Emiratization and local nationals.

Our team is keeping a close eye on these developments.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

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