Initially on June 6, 2022, MOHRE (the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization) issued the Ministerial Decision 279 of 2022 outlining that the companies in the private sector with over 50 employees must meet specified Emiratisation rates, more specifically a 2% rate by the end of the year, 4% by the end of the following year (2023) with a yearly increase of 2% until the employers have reached a quota of 10% of UAE citizens operating in skilled roles. 

On July 11 of the current year, MOHRE (the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization) updated its Emiratisation targets under the ministerial resolution 455 of 2023 encompassing the smaller business with a workforce of 20 to 49 employees. Under the new decree, the companies falling under this category are required to hire at least one UAE national by the end of next year and another in 2025. 

The fourteen sectors which are being listed in the Cabinet Resolution are: administrative and support services, arts and entertainment, construction, education, financial and insurance sector, healthcare and social work, hospitality and residency, information and communications, mining and quarrying, professional and technical activities, real estate, transformative industries, transportation and warehousing, wholesale and retail.  

The penalties for non-complying with the resolution are quite steep and the defaulting business will be subject to a 96,000 Dirhams fine which may further increase to 108,000 Dirhams in the following year. It is worth mentioning that if one of the UAE nationals leaves the company, a replacement must be found within two months of departure; should this not be possible, then the employer must pay the contribution for the targeted year if the number of UAE nationals has been reduced. 

According to Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, “expanding the establishment targeted by Emiratisation targets will have a positive impact and bring benefits for both our citizens and establishment themselves, where the latter will be able to benefit from the support of the Nafis program.” 

Launched on September 13, 2021, Nafis Program (which translates as “to compete” in Arabic) is a federal program aimed at supporting Emirati nationals to develop their career and their employment in the private sector. The program’s main objective is to create a partnership between the private companies and the public sector by creating incentives in order to accelerate the UAE’s economy. 

MOHRE’s latest decision is meant to create more job opportunities for the UAE nationals and at the same time to support the small business enrolled in  the Nafis program. Companies are required to participate in the program, to tap into its benefits and contribute to the UAE’s economic growth, Emiratisation not being about meeting quotas but an opportunity to foster diversity and inclusion within the workplace. We advise all our clients and the companies falling under this category not to delay the registration with Nafis and comply with the latest resolution within the stipulated time frame. For any additional information feel free to reach us at: 

+971.4.4221944, or email us via:  – 

Written by:

Mr. Eduard P. Nedelcu, ESQ.  – Head of Arbitration Law Department at Al Safar and Partners Law Firm.

Most international corporations in the region choose Dubai as the main seat of arbitration.

While the UAE provides some of the best and the most lucrative business opportunities to entrepreneurs all over the world, such opportunities come with their own set of disputes between employees, competitors and other corporate entities. Usually, mediation and negotiation techniques help in such matters. However, in disputes where mediation and negotiation techniques do not work, arbitration is often the most effective option being one of the less expensive ways to settle a dispute between parties.

A good legal team has to analyse the arbitration clause, which is part of the contract, and present all possible options to their clients, explaining what each option entails.

Eduard P. Nedelcu, Head of Arbitration, Al Safar and Partners

Arbitration is used as the major platform in settling real estate disputes. Depending on the jurisdiction, the disputes could be ventured either under DIAC following the UAE laws or DIFC-LCIA, following the English laws. The language of the proceedings can be at the choice of the parties, with English as the preferred language of arbitration. Many centres at the request of the parties are also able to provide arbitrators that speak the native language of the parties involved.

Due to COVID-19, there have been a lot of disputes between contractors and subcontractors with mediation and arbitration being used as a peaceful means of settlement.

The oil sector and its related activities, the parties usually prefer arbitration in their agreements to maintain the confidentiality and settle the disputes out of courts as the arbitral awards are final and binding and they are not to be contested in the court.

The financial institutions including currency trading and financial instruments opt to include in their contracts all ADR mechanisms: negotiations, mediation and arbitration, the latter being ideal due to the enforceability and confidentiality at the same time.

The investors and the investment-related agreements, whether the investment takes place in the corporate world or the real estate sector, arbitration is the favourite form of dispute resolution to ensure the confidentiality of the investors, while the proceedings are in compliance with the IBA guidelines.

It is worth mentioning that ADCAC (Abu Dhabi Arbitration Centre) is the pioneer, being not just cost effective but delivering the awards in a timely fashion, thereby concluding the disputes between the parties faster than expected.

Considering Dubai as the hub of the Middle East, most of the international corporations are choosing Dubai as the main seat of arbitration, showing a lot of trust in the UAE legal system and its practices, aimed at making investors feel at home.

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