UAE to Limit Influx of Unskilled Labor

In a bid to balance the current demographic disparities of expatriates versus locals in the UAE, the Federal Cabinet have announced plans to limit the amount of unskilled workers permitted to work in the region.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting this week the Federal Cabinet declared that: “uncontrolled import of unskilled laborers should be limited and replaced by recruitment from within the UAE” and announced plans to focus instead on “accredited professional and educational certificates”, state news agency WAM said.

One area of concern for the Federal Cabinet is that of the construction industry, with tens of thousands of expatriates being imported on an annual basis to fulfill roles in this sector. Addressing the issue, they ordered agencies to define a set of guidelines aimed at increasing productivity levels of unskilled workers and reducing the number of imported workers required.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler, said that addressing demographic imbalances was a top priority for the UAE and the government was aiming to promote a “demographic balance in parallel with the comprehensive development that benefits UAE citizen in all emirates of the country”.

The announcements were made at a Federal Cabinet meeting, which implemented a resolution to reach target levels of UAE citizens over the next 20 years.

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