Private Sector Emiratisation: Evaluating the Policies and Practices Designed to Achieve Abu Dhabi’s Strategic HRM Goal

Khaled Sultan Saeed Al Kaabi


The purpose of this study is two-fold: firstly, to gauge the job satisfaction levels of UAE nationals employed in the private sector and secondly to consider the HRM policies and procedures most likely to attract and retain such individuals. The issue is of contemporary importance because the UAE has a fast growing population, an already overstaffed public sector and, a labor nationalization program that has yet to have a significant impact on the ratio of nationals employed in the private sector visa-vis the classic public sector. Using a combination of employee survey and expert interview feedback this study provides a policy-orientated analysis of the current state of private sector Emiratisation and makes a significant contribution to the emerging Arab Middle East HR Model by suggesting ways in which UAE HR policies and strategies may be enhanced. If the compensation and benefits disparity between the two sectors were minimized, the majority of Emiratis would be willing to work in the private sector. The factors that can influence the employment decision include Salary and Fringe Benefits, opportunities for growth along with training and development, a friendly and professional working environment that offers job security and finally the social perceptions. This research can be helpful in understanding what incentives and measures can be useful and effective for the operational implementation of the Emiratisation process. The analysis can help in identification and prioritisation of issues that are impacting the pace of implementation of Emiratisation process. This study finds a number of statistically significant relationships between the dependent variable of "continuance intentions" and various predictor variables: β .399 for pay and benefits; β .163 for professional development opportunities; β .072 for the nature of the job; the impact of sociocultural influences was found to have a significant and negative relationship, β -.423. The study concludes by making a number of policy-relevant recommendations focusing on HRD at the macro level and HRM policies and procedures at the company level.