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Spotlight on EMEA Series – UAE

In our Spotlight on EMEA series we round up the latest developments across the EMEA regions.  In this post we focus on a significant implementation that just occurred in January in which the UAE Government has re-implemented Demographic Diversity in the workplace.  Here we look at what that means for employers across the UAE.


Demographic Diversity

Last week the UAE Government re-implemented the system of Demographic Diversity in the work place across the country both on mainland and free zone sectors.  This takes immediate effect and is being enforced currently.  The system stems from 2022 when the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) first introduced a three tier classification system encouraging companies to achieve higher classification ratings by hiring diverse nationalities, so not exceeding 20% to a particular ethnicity.


What does it mean in practice?

  • Demographic Diversity does not only focus on nationalities and ethnicities, but also on gender equality in the workplace. In 2018, the UAE government recognised and approved law of equal wages for men and women.



  • Already enforced and currently in operation.


Affected Nationalities:

  • Some companies with a higher population of employees from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are facing difficulties obtaining visa approval. Some applications were rejected with a note of “achieve demographic diversity while hiring.



  • Human Resources and Recruitment departments of companies must review current nationality and gender population to align the new candidate’s inclusion in the workplace.
  • The purpose is to achieve balance of diversification and inclusion promoting innovation and enhanced creativity in the business sectors.


We encourage our clients to seek advice and assistance regarding any new applications to be submitted for the UAE in order to ensure that all requirements under the Demographic Diversity criteria are met.


If you would like assistance or more information please contact [email protected] and [email protected]



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