Business in the UAE is Booming, So Why is National Unemployment So High?

September 17, 2014 | Jan Marsli, Head of Employee Research Division, Hay Group Middle East | Hay Group
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As the business center of the Middle East, and thanks to a strong economy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to attract hordes of expatriates looking to earn a tax-free salary and fast track their careers. However what comes as a surprise to those new arrivals is that unemployment amongst citizens in the UAE is running high.

UAE nationals represent just 16.5 per cent of the population and as such, it is unrealistic to expect the nation to be able to create a fully nationalized workforce, at least within the foreseeable future. Instead, industry will continue to rely on significant numbers of expatriate workers at least over the medium term.