24 June, 2006

goodbye 20,000 odd pplz

ABU DHABI - The UAE has announced a ban on issuing employment visas to expatriate male/female secretaries. The ban also applies to more than 20,000 expatriates working at present in secretarial jobs.

--more here


moosa said...

can we be honest here, will it really work?? any1?

secretdubai said...

They really just don't get it, do they? They just can't get out of the master/servant mindset. Secretaries are lower paid than managers, therefore they are expendable.

Because they have so little experience of how real companies actually work - as opposed to inflated goverment departments packed with phantom jobs - they don't understand that secretaries are more often than not highly skilled and critical to an organisation.

Secretaries in the UAE are nearly always multilingual. They might be on "husband's or father's visa" on shit wages, but they know how to operate their computers, they are literate to a higher standard than their managers most often, and they are used to performing a range of servile tasks below their skill levels. I'd like to see how the nationalisation of this sector goes when the tasks of endlessly making coffee, running errands, picking up paper clips and taking general flak and shit become apparent.

Anonymous said...

i'm guessing the private sector will walk right through this ignorant order just like the emirati landlords walked right through the rent hike order.

Krishna said...

Don't worry, the job titles will be changed to "Marketing Assistants" in no time.

Desert Lady said...

I'd like to see an Emirati work for my ex boss!

Harsha said...

If there were actually so many locals who bothered to work as secretaries, howcome the classifieds are always flooded with vacancies in this role.

Try filling them up before attempting to put off others from their jobs?

Seabee said...

And all Human Resource Managers to be Emiratis.

Still, the people competent, trained, experienced to do the real work will still be there, just re-named 'Assistant'. The manager will in most cases not be any of the above and so the belief that all Emiratis are incompetent will be reinforced.

Not helpful is it.

Secretaries will be renamed 'PA' or 'Admin Assistant'and life will carry on.

CG said...

So, lets just say that a high powered secretary who is earning good money has decided to invest in property here. Now they are out of a job, because I am sure the labour dept will block them from transferring their visa...I mean how can you be a secretay one day and then a....manager/assistant/accountant the next..

Just one more reason to not relax here and think it will all be OK now...

Woke said...

Hmmm looks like a scenario where the secretary will be paid more than her/his expat manager :D

Emaraty said...

I favour this law. Its a great step and infact it should have been introduced 5 years back.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...


I think this highlights a serious problem in how the government views Emiratization. This is certainly not going to work, simply because businesses do not have an incentive to implement it. Forcing it will simply lead to expliting loopholes (as some have pointed out earlier).

I assure you that I have absolutely no intention of changing my very competent secretary because she is not an Emirati. However, I am actively looking for Emirati's to fill other positions (and it is proving to be a rather difficult task).

What the labor ministry should be doing is coming up with a system where the private companies are given the opportunity to explore the options between Emirati and expats when doing the hiring. It should not come down to quotas and minimum wage/set wage, etc. That is a major turn-off for any business.

Make the Emirati population more attractive to hire.. be competitive with skills, pay, etc. Forcing it will simply not work. If this does become a serious issue for me, I can tell you that I will simply close shop and move to a neighboring country that has a better understanding of the dynamics of the labor market. Because, as it is, Al Ka'abi has clearly demonstrated that he is unable to understand this.

blogrosh said...

I feel the law is very just and fair. UAE Citizens should be given first preference on jobs in their own country. They need not meet the highest prerequisites set by the employer, but rather the minimum educational and work experience prerequisites set by the government.

This is the practice/law across Europe, United States and Asia, - an employer hiring for an open position have to screen citizens and permanent residents, who meet the "minimum prerequisites" prior to hiring a foreign citizen on a guest worker program. Hence I have no qualms Emaritis are given preferences above everyone else - completely understand & respect the sentiment. However, couple of facts to bear in mind;

I truly believe this law should not be mandated with such intensity the way it seems, it has been done. There has to be a due transition process, after all these are working people with lives and responsibilities we are talking about. Some of them are born, raised and have spent their entire lives in the UAE.

Secondly, bearing with the current development and future of the country in mind, I truly feel, it is high time the UAE government also pay attention to "Native Expatriates". By "Native Expatriates" I mean souls, who have been born, raised and lived in the UAE all their lives.
Individuals who have fantastic global experiences and education from reputable international schools – be given some sort of stable preferences/recognition. I request Emariti souls to put themselves in shoes of some "expatriates" like myself - who are second generation "expatriates" born, raised and have lived in the UAE for 30 plus years! We may hold international citizenships, and may have fantastic careers elsewhere - and perhaps not be choice. However, how do you tell someone and their parents who have spent their entire lives in a land, "Thank you for your wonderful help, it is time to please move on and by the way you have got 18 months to go home"? Go home where - to Mars?

I sincerely plead with the UAE government, if they truly have a plan to grow this country, they need permanent human resources and there are several "Expatriates" just like Emaritis who are willing to participate in order to put the UAE above all other countries and their own individual self development - so that this country and it's future generations both Emaritis and "Native Expatriates" alike can have a solid country supported by a buoyant and growing economy with peaceful coexistence.

Anonymous said...

Drive just around 4 hours from Dubai & you would reach Muscat where you can see locals driving cabs, working as sweepers etc etc. You find it really strange that its not happening here, because the locals here dont want to work at those levels - when will that change... Unless UAE develops its workforce in all the layers the country and as a community will depend on expats.

Someone spoke about US and UK here - pls understand out there after you say for 5 years you probably would get permanent residence and probably your rights will be growing and you become part of the society. You dont see such things here in Middle east. That way things are not moving in the right direction and is not in line with the thoughts of other govt departments.

Dont tell me that one day when all the expats are kicked out of the country (excluding probably the taxi drivers / sweepers / scavengers - as Emiraties dont know to do these), all these new developments in Dubai will be occupied by Locals??? Wake up guys..

There should be one rule.. The right person with the right qualificiation should get the right job and right wage, irrespective of Nationality


Dubai Entrepreneur said...

blogrosh, I think you are confused. It's a lot easier for everyone if the local population was employable. Why do you think a business would want to hire an expat anyway? I mean, really.. it's not like everyone simply avoids them because of the way they look. The dynamics are far more complex than you make them out to be.

There simply aren't enough Emiratis who are:

1) Qualified
2) Willing to work in the private sector
3) Willing to accept competitive compensation packages

When and only when the above is satisfied, will it make sense for businesses to hire from the local labor market pool.

blogrosh said...

Well since you point it out that way, I think from a business perspective I agree with you - i.e. "It's a lot easier for everyone if the local population was employable"

However, I am afraid the issue a rather bit complicated. Being an Indian/Brit origin myself, and having lived in the UAE all my life - I sort of understand the HR portion of the new law.

If you do take a closer look across most businesses, where there is an expat HR manager (mostly the ones from India/Pakistan and some Arab expat countries) - the folks hire their own nationalities when an opportunity arises. Most often, these A holes do not even bother to advertise the job within the company let alone in newspapers.

A childhood Emariti friend, who went to school with me in Canada and is a fine young smart man was pushed aside with some lame ass excuse by this arrogant HR supervisor for an inhouse position - because she had someone "related" already in mind and offered her relative from Bombay the position!!! Such crap by all these new expats who move into the UAE pisses me off.

Hence I feel the HR portion of the law is rather fair if you really think about the crappy tactics by most exapts - not necessarily EU ones though, I think most of them have better ethics.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...


Again, it's fine to recognize the problem.. but a solution that works for businesses must absolutely come through incentives. Making it law will not make it happen. So far, I don't see any incentives. Tell me why, as a business, I should hire from the local market? Give me an INCENTIVE! Make a law and everyone will find a loophole.

emirati eye said...

Each country have there own rules and as being a guest in the country should respect the rule and follow rule& laws.

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