Dubai, Dubai Economy recently organised a workshop led by experts from World Bank as part of its initiatives to support the National Employment Strategy 2031. Hosted by the Economic Planning Department in Dubai Economy, the workshop highlighted the role of active labour market policies in supporting Emiratisation as well as the integration of Emirati youth in the labour market.

The workshop was also attended by representatives of the Executive Council of Dubai, UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and the Department of Human Resources in the Government of Dubai, in addition to international experts in the field of labour economics from the World Bank as well as higher academic institutions. The objective was to discuss the best means to enhance employment opportunities for Emiratis as well as identify global best practices and lessons learned from workforce nationalisation, particularly in the Gulf region, as part of designing effective policies.

The workshop had three dialogue sessions dedicated to exploring the optimal scenario to support Emiratisation in a manner that maximises the benefit for the Emirati workforce.

His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, said in his opening speech: "This workshop seeks to support our national goal of providing suitable job opportunities for young citizens, specifically as per the National Employment Strategy 2031. We hope to find ideal solutions to address unemployment among our citizens and also the duplication in the labour market at the federal and local levels. The largest proportion of our national workforce is concentrated in government and semi-government institutions, while the majority of expatriates work in the private sector. This workshop, while looking at Emiratisation on an economic perspective, also aims to make use of the global experiences that the World Bank possesses in this field. We look forward to developing the best strategies to overcome challenges ahead and enhance our readiness for the next 50 years in line with the UAE Centennial 2071."

Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy, added: "Emiratisation is a top priority for Dubai Economy, whether in terms of job opportunities or in the economic studies that we undertake. A sustainable policy with regard to employing citizens in the government and semi-government sectors has become an imperative in light of the growth in population and the limitations of the government sector to provide more job opportunities. Active labour market policies in supporting Emiratisation and integrating citizens in the private sector to support their capabilities help make optimal use of our human resources."

The first session in the workshop, hosted by the World Bank team, focused on the role of active labour market policies in promoting citizen employment in the private sector. In the second session, Dr Ahmed Shoukry, Economic Expert at the Economic Planning Department in Dubai Economy, presented the Emiratisation challenges study prepared by the department under the title 'Promoting youth job opportunities in Dubai.'

Sanaa Mohamed, Director of the Economic Planning Department, said: "We employ a group of experts and researchers who prepare economic studies to find out the most important issues affecting Dubai's economy. Recently, we did a comprehensive study on Emiratisation highlighting the challenges ahead and we believe it will provide new added value to further studies on this topic."

Dr Ahmed Shoukry added: "The study relied on factual data, and represented the entire Dubai community, especially as we used the latest labour force survey for Dubai. We are delighted that the workshop shed light on the role of active labour market policies that are pursued worldwide in support of new entrants to the labour market and workforce nationalisation."

Mohamed Lahouel, Chief Economist at Dubai Economy, chaired a dialogue session titled 'The Emirates Experience and Policy Insights from International Experiences' in which Mouawiya Alawad from Zayed University, Aisha Almehyas from the Department of Human Resources - Government of Dubai, and Abdulrahman Aljahoushi from the Higher Colleges of Technology also spoke.

Other speakers at the workshop included Johannes Koettl from the World Bank as well as Morgan Hardy and Etienne Wasmer, both from New York University - Abu Dhabi. The Executive Council, Department of Human Resources - Government of Dubai, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation presented government-level initiatives and efforts in supporting workforce nationalisation.

Source: Department of Economic Development, Dubai