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Young UAE nationals give their views on Emiratisation

It is often assumed that large salaries and long holidays of government jobs are what keep Emiratis from even considering the private sector.

It is often assumed that large salaries and long holidays of government jobs are what keep Emiratis from even considering the private sector.

But they are not always the reasons nationals choose the public sector.

Here, four Emiratis say what such jobs offer them.

Ayesha Al Hameli, 23

Qualified with a high school certificate before gaining a job as a media and publications officer for a government company in oil and gas.

She has been in the job for four years. Its flexible hours (either 7am to 2pm, or 8am to 3pm) allow her take evening courses in IT and business in the Higher Colleges of Technology.

"I wouldn't want another job. Nothing would make me leave this company," Ms Al Hameli says. "The company's reputation is good and I know its work environment is good."

She says the public sector provides a more secure future, as a private company can easily shut down.

Ms Al Hameli supports the Absher initiative, as "a lot of people are looking for jobs but not many have the ability to find such jobs. In the end, this is our country. If we don't serve it, who will?"


Hind Al Hosani, 23

Started a home-based business last June, selling fashion items such as shirts and vintage bags she sources from Poland, Russia and France.

Chic Unique already has more than 900 regular customers and makes Ms Al Hosani about Dh2,000 a week.

"It's not a salary but it's enough for me." But she says it is more of a hobby.

Ms Al Hosani, who recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in international affairs, is looking for a "real" job.

"I am looking for a government job because it means I will be giving more to my country," she says.

"I think for me and for many other Emiratis, it is about me finding my place in society rather than having a large salary."

She also supports the Absher initiative: "Our generation is now more educated and more skilled, why waste those skills? Increasing the number of Emiratis in the private sector will increase the achievements and development of the country."

Ayesha Al Hammadi, 22

Graduated with a bachelor's in communications and human relations from the University of Iowa in the US, and has since taken a job at a government research centre in Abu Dhabi.

"I wasn't seduced by the salary, I just wanted to be comfortable and have a good learning experience, and to be surrounded by positive people," Ms Al Hammadi said. "The company is known for its name. I just had to take the opportunity."

A friend of her father advised her to apply, and after sending the company her education certificates she took a number of interviews and tests. A month later she was employed as a trainee.

The job was one of several in the public sector for which she applied.

While salary was not her motivation, she believes the private sector "doesn't provide enough for locals" as the salaries are too low and the holidays not flexible enough. Ms Al Hammadi hopes that will change.

"Having lived abroad I saw Americans working all types of jobs like waitressing or driving cabs," she says. "Why not have Emiratis do that? It is their country after all."

Saif Al Dhubaiei, 21

Recently graduated from Swinburne University in Australia with a degree in aviation.

Mr Al Dhubaiei says he will work in whatever sector gives him the best offer, but he concedes: "In my field of work, it will probably be the public sector as most aviation companies are owned by the Government."

Mr Al Dhubaiei says he has had a pleasant experience trying to find a job, and many interviews.

He also supports the Absher initiative, noting that "a lot of people are in need of a job nowadays. We are the children of this country, we will work for its development."


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