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Emirati Youth Empowerment in the Private Sector 09 May 2017 Dubai World Trade Center – Zabeel Hall 6


youth circle


Emirati Youth Empowerment in the private Sector – best practice

Mr. Zuhair H. Al Haj

Director of HR & Localization, MENA |Al- Futtaim Group


  • The importance of Emiratization in the private sector
  • Challenges to entering the private sector
  • The role of entrepreneurship and SMEs in encouraging Emirati youth to enter the private sector
  • Defining what constitutes quality opportunities in the private sector


  • The limited number of UAE nationals compared to expats in the workforce requires us to think of the work opportunities for Emirati Youth in terms of quality rather than quantity. 
  • It is recommended that Emiritizaton efforts should be focused on the key strategic sectors of the private industry.
  • Build a Government strategy with focus on Work-training and equipping Emirati nationals with necessary skills and experiences to become more competitive in the private sector. 
  • More financial, technical and admin support for UAE SME’s is required and an emphasis on innovative, sustainable ideas is desirable. 
  • Sponsorship of a diverse set of internships programs, that will in return shed more insight on the work done in the private sector and will help fragment and break cultural stereotypes. 
  • Media plays a pivotal role in breaking down stereotypes and showcasing the successful stories of Emirati’s in the private sector and entrepreneurship scene. 
  • Instill positive work ethics and culture in the education curriculum and a special focus on innovation and entrepreneurship courses in the University.
  • Enhancing the framework of cooperation between the educational institutes, Government institutions and the private sector, In addition to enhancing the role of the Academic Advisor in schools and Universities. 
  • Implementing Point system recognition for Private companies based on Emiratization percentages by quality not quantity; the more a company has emiratized its critical jobs the more points/rewards they get with the government (e.g. reduce their fees, provide them with contracts).