The UAE cabinet has announced new Emiratisation regulations for private sector companies with at least 50 employees. The companies are now required to ensure that 3% of their workforce comprises Emiratis by the end of June 2023.

The government aims to support the continuity of Emiratisation in the private sector year-round by dividing the annual target for Emiratisation by 1% in the first and second halves of the year.

Companies will be required to increase Emiratisation in skilled jobs by 1% every six months and achieve an overall 2% target by year-end. Private sector employers previously had to meet a 4% target by 2023, which would eventually rise to 10% by 2026. While the year-end Emiratisation target remains the same, private sector companies must ensure that 2% of their workforce comprises Emiratis by June.

Free zone companies are exempt, but they are encouraged to participate in the Emiratisation efforts.

Companies that do not meet the target by July 2023 will face financial penalties collected every six months. The amendments do not impose any additional commitments on companies, nor do they amend the amounts of financial contributions for non-compliance.