Private firms in the UAE are to be offered discounts on labour permits and other benefits as a way of encouraging them to hire more locals.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MHRE) promoted the measures during a series of recent workshops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in which it detailed the benefits to private sector companies of its Emiratisation Partners Club.

The MHRE is encouraging companies that meet its criteria to join the club, as part of its drive to increase the rate of Emiratisation in the private sector.

Benefits promoted to private companies include reduced fees on labour permits, exemption from bank deposit requirements and other privileges, according to the Khaleej Times.

Membership is granted to private sector companies that work in the prioritised economic sectors and have an HR department.

Fareeda Abduallh Al Ali, assistant undersecretary at the MHRE, said the process of Emiratisation in the private sector was viewed as its most important strategic job, “in pursuance of the directives and aspirations of the sagacious leadership and in implementation of the UAE 2021 vision".

Currently, around 140 private establishments are members of the club.

The MHRE introduced its Tawteen programme at the end of last year, which included several initiatives, such as Tawteen Gate – a recruitment portal aimed at attracting talent – and the Tawteen Partners Club, which encourages private sector employers to offer programmes such as training and flexible working.

More detail on how employers can encourage Emiratis to work in the private sector can be found in Rebecca Ford, partner at Clyde & Co’s article detailing the challenges, the current offering for employees and what changes might make a difference.

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