Strategy, Policy and Practice in the Nationalisation of Human Capital: ‘Project Emiratisation’

HomeEssaysArticle Critique/ReviewStrategy, Policy and Practice in the Nationalisation of Human Capital: ‘Project Emiratisation’

The article “Strategy, Policy and Practice in the Nationalization of Human Capital: Project Emiratisation” by Kasim Randeree discusses the process of Emiratisation and attempts of nationalization of the UAE economic sector. The UAE faces many challenges, including troubles in demographics employment of foreigners vs. national workforce, issues of sustainability, educational patterns as well as gender and diversity related problems (Randeree, 2009, p.2). Another global pattern concerning the Emirates is the women employment, which can strengthen the UAE economics. Thus, the rulers of the UAE have accepted the challenge of engaging the national human resource in the work sphere as well as education, attempting to keep pace with progressive nations whilst respecting the Islamic and Arab tradition.

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The Emirates faced the trouble of a huge amount of foreign workers and cosmopolitan of the states. However, this phenomenon has a clear explanation, as women were excluded from business participation, with a stress on domestic duties, and much of the male national citizens preferred to work in the governmental jobs, which allowed better work conditions and higher salaries (Randeree, 2009, p.2). Another reason for low national population involvement into the country’s employment process was the oil wealth, which allowed the women not work and the men to strive for high positions. Therefore, the country became dependent on more qualified and cheaper expatriate labor. Moreover, expatriates are beneficial for employers and the national economy, as they work longer hours while requiring lower wages. Foreigners tolerate poorer working conditions and jobs that are more physically demanding in comparison to the UAE nationals (Randeree, 2009, p.3). Therefore, 60 percent of all workers are expatriates.

The nationalization of the UAE economy can facilitate the employment of Emirati women as well as their increase in private sector jobs. Thus, women start to study in universities, and the number of educated women increases from year to year. Although a great number of women are working in the governmental sector, the UAE administration is developing strategic plans for including female workers into the private sector jobs. Therefore, this article analyzes the issues of the Emiratization of the private sector and the role of the Emirati women in the development of nationalization. It also includes the necessity for education and training not only for women but also for men as well as the current and future role of expatriate employees.

To my mind, the nature of this article is conceptual, which implies that the article is used to describe features of a population or studied phenomenon. This type of article goes into the details and inner reasons. The author examines the causes and outcomes of the analyzed phenomenon and proposes his thoughts about solving these issues. The essay concentrates on the causes and outcomes of certain actions to a great extent, and the conceptual nature of the article describes the phenomenon in details. It also includes various sources for better description and readers’ understanding of the issue discussed. For example,

Due in part to the advancement and comparatively liberal nature of the UAE in comparison to other countries on the Arabian peninsula, the international community looks to the UAE and the city of Dubai in particular as a model for a new, prosperous, and sustainable 21st century Middle East (Randeree, 2009, p.3).

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This citation shows the conceptual nature of the essay, as it narrates about causes and outcomes. Randeree draws parallels between nations, which shows his deep analysis of the issue described.

Another element of a conceptual essay includes review of the previous works on a similar topic and their evaluation in relation to the theme of the article. According to Randeree (2009),

Recent research by Randeree (2006b) throws light on the next evolution, with the seeds of development of a knowledge-based economy (since circa 1990) supported by a lowered rate of illiteracy, access to global information through the Internet, emergence of well educated Emirati women in corporate leadership positions, and a gradual liberalization of social and political views in the UAE (p.3).

This instance shows that the article decomposes works of different researchers. Randeree reviews them and uses all the necessary information for his description. However, often, this data is not easily analyzed, as various authors incorporate their inner world into their works. However, the author commented on the essays, giving instances and his justifications as well as thoughts about the reasons and outcomes of the issues described.

In a conceptual research, the author conducts no experiments. However, they may make usage of observations by other researchers, since this is the abundance of data, which they are attempting to make sense of. In the history, conceptual research was regarded as the honorable type of research because it required intellectual rather than manual activity. According to Randeree (2009),

Past researches (Halliday 1977, Maloney 1998, Randeree 2006a) are indicative that there are a number of challenges facing Emirati society and by implication the Arabian Gulf region, that need to be addressed if change and advancement envisaged by the region is to be realized (p.3).

This instance shows that the author considered a variety of research, and it was a significant amount of work. The reference list of the essay also indicates the conceptual nature of the article.

The first thing Randeree discusses is the demographic challenges arisen in the UAE. The author considers the population issues as well as states which country is governed by in the federal system. The article also mentions the expats. I fully agree with the article statement about the onicity of the UAE. He proves this claim by the strong evidence, which is as follows:

The city ranks highest in the world for male to female ratio (2.62 male to 1 female); workforce to population ratio (68.33 per cent); expats as a percentage of the total population (82 per cent); population growth per annum (seven per cent); and population under 65 years of age (99.35 per cent) (Randeree, 2009, p.4).

This statistic is unique, and the author explains it, stating that the country is new born. Moreover, its appearance is tightly connected to the oil wealth. Most of the country’ national population deals with the oil business, which means their high income and wellbeing. The government also provides all the nationals with all the necessary conditions of life that allow them not to work. That is why the ration of workforce to population is rather high. The gradual growth of population is explained by the high percent of emigrants who come to the Emirates in search of better life and higher salaries. The youth of population is high due to the youth of the country itself.

In the article, the author is also interested in the theme of the public and private sector jobs. I agree with the author’s statement that public jobs are more favorable for the national population of the Emirates. He says,

compared to the private sector, salaries are generally higher, non monetary benefits are better and hours of work tend to be shorter (Feulner 1989). Many private sector establishments operate on 10-hour days, six days per week, with a split shift day. In contrast, the government sector operates on a single shift, eight hour day, and is a five day week system (Randeree, 2009, p.5-6).

Having conducted a detailed review of the previous sources as well as the statistics, Randeree is sure that the high-rate migration of expats is because the nationals do not want to work in the private sector, which needs many workers to sustain the Emirates’ economy. The author also proves the employers’ need for expats by claiming that the emigrants are hard working and require lower wages in comparison to the national citizens. These patterns explain the desire of employers to hire expats rather than nationals.

The author raises the question of obligatory employment of the Emirates national population in the public as well as private sector jobs. “In 2004, the Ministry of Labour issued a decree making it mandatory for companies in the trade sector with an excess of 50 employees to achieve a target of two per cent Emiratisation”(Randeree, 2009, p.6). I disagree with this statement because the government cannot make the people work in the spheres they are not willing to. Moreover, finding an experienced Emirate worker is also a challenge. The companies and organizations face difficulties in recognizing experienced and well-qualified national employees to hold positions in such sectors as technology, manufacturing, and construction. When suitable individuals are recognized for these jobs, they are willing to negotiate high wages, with demands of gradually exceeding the salary as well as benefits granted to their expatriate superiors.

Randeree is conserved about the economical growth of the Emirates. He states that the UAE is a rather young, wealth country. The first evidence for it is the emergence of oil and gas, which gave the UAE economy a possibility to flourish and the people to live wealthy and happy lives without caring about the future. The trade business gives the country a huge outcome, and after the exhaustion of natural resources, the Emirates will be able to sustain their economy with the help of the tourist business. Due to this, the Sheikhs of the Emirates tend to evolve strange and exciting tourist attractions like Burj Al Arab or artificial islands, which can be seen from the space. The second evidence is the striving of the administration to evolve the education to the level where the Emirate citizens will be highly qualified and respected in any country of the world. Moreover, the UAE entices high-qualified professionals from all over the world to aid the economic progressing and adopt their experience (Randeree, 2009, p.8-9).

The issue of education, training, and development of the national human resources is of high significance for the Emirates. I agree with such an emphasis on this sphere, as the quality population resources are the most valuable aspect of the country’s flourishing. “Education is a national priority, especially in the light of technological revolutions and scientific advancement witnessed by the entire world which could only be encountered by a well developed and effective educational system” (Randeree, 2009, p.8). With the emergence of oil and gas resources, the Emirates started to expand the country’s educational capabilities. The amount of learning children increased twice. The patterns of education also make sense, as “the number of girls completing secondary education is 88 per cent and 69 per cent of Emirati university graduates are women” (Randeree, 2009, p.8). The excellent evidence of the flourishing education is an increase in women learning. The UAE, being a Muslim country, never encouraged the female population to study; but the economic wealth and evolvement made the government be more democratic and follow the example of the West. The Emirates administration encouraged women to study in schools and universities as well as work, which used to be prohibited earlier.

I fully agree with the article claim about the Emiratisation of the UAE due to its female population. The government made huge steps in this direction, as two thirds of the Emirate University graduates are women. The females started to work not only in the public but also in the private sector. “For instance, TV presenters, forensic scientists, Dot Com entrepreneurs, medical professionals and taxi drivers (for female clients) are amongst some of the wider professions where women are playing an active role” (Randeree, 2009, p.9). In some way, the women are even occupying the positions that were traditionally not characteristic for them before. The Sheikhs and the UAE Women’s Federation support the female labour. The author argues that women are better managers due to their qualities of adjustability, the ability to undertake a diversity of tasks at a time, and finally, being more interested in accomplishments rather than searching for title or status; they are also more intuitive and instinctive than men, tough, but friendly and tender focused.

The article considers the detailed plan for the Emiratisation of the job sphere in the country. To my mind, the plan is strict, as the government is going to identify the skills possessed by the workers and those needed for the professional execution of the professional tasks. The sufficient level of knowledge needed is also an issue. The monitoring and employee training are significant components of the plan implementation. The Emiratisation does not mean the eviction of the expats but their partial replacement by the national employees. The UAE government decides that the emigrants are advantageous for the society, as they are rather talented and experienced and can enhance innovation and creativity within the society (Randeree, 2009, p.10). Thus, the Emirates wants to train and properly qualify the workers suitable for the most evolving industries of the society.

The Emirates’ administration created the organization, which aims at tracking the implementation of the plan and all its requirements. Those structures should also find out which sectors are of a high significance for the country and need national workers instead of expats. Those organizations will be also engaged in finding out the skills necessary for the nationals to be able to work at the level of the expats. Moreover, the structures must adopt the experience and skills possessed by the emigrants. They will work until the moment the country gains the appropriate amount of the national labor force.

In my opinion, the article is written very clearly and is understandable to the readers. Having read it, the people will be aware of the issues going on in the UAE. Every idea of the author is structured and properly followed by another one. Randeree included many divided sections telling about the UAE nationalization. The author analyzed a large amount of literature, both foreign and domestic, as well as the statistics in order to reach certain outcomes. He examined the information and reflected it in a plain and clear style. Many sources support the thought of the author. For example, he tried to find the support of one of his ideas in various authors (Halliday 1977, Maloney 1998, Randeree 2006a) (Randeree, 2009, p.3). In the essay, Randeree used his previous researches with similar topics.

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I am very pleased with the arisen theme of emancipation. I fully support the author in his claim that women must study and work as much as men do. I like that women in the OAE are doing the male professions, “for instance, TV presenters, forensic scientists, Dot Com entrepreneurs, medical professionals and taxi drivers (for female clients) are amongst some of the wider professions where women are playing an active role” (Randeree, 2009, p.9). I was usually concerned about the issues of female equality to the male population, particularly in the Muslim countries where women are impaired. For a long time, they have not had an opportunity to study, work, and professionally realize themselves. However, with the emergence of natural gas and oil, the government made democratization and Westernization its policy. This allowed the women to study, work, travel the world, and be respected by the public. Moreover, the feminization aided the nationalization of the UAE economy because women contribute to the labor force of the country and play a significant role in its evolvement.

I also like the author’s recommendation to leave the expats in the country for further working. The emigrants are the people who lost everything in their native country or simply did not have any opportunity to work and make a living in their country. I am proud that the UAE gives the possibility for such people to live in a highly developed country and pursue their dreams. Of course, I agree with the idea of economic nationalization, as the local people must take better positions in their own country. They must be trained properly to replace some emigrant workers. However, the expats are usually experienced professionals, who work hard and do not require high salaries. They can share their experience with the national citizens, bring innovations into the country, and create new opportunities. Particularly valued are the workers from America and Europe, who can share the professional experience with the national citizens.

However, Randeree’ s idea of the organizations controlling and monitoring the employment of the nationals is rather nasty, as the people will feel the whole control that can badly influence their desire to work as well as their labor skills. Another thought that does not appeal to me is the need for a certain time of work position occupation. The government wants to make the population work in the spheres they do not like to. I understand that this plan is necessary for the nationalization, but it goes against the human will.

To conclude, the patterns of nationalization are challenging for the contemporary UAE. The country faced tough issues on the way to make the labor sector national. First, the pattern of demographic misbalance thrilled the country. The gap between the national citizens and expats is enormous. Thousands of emigrants came to the UAE in search of better life and good income. Thus, the expats posses the larger amount of the labor market in the Emirates, particularly that of the private sector jobs. The reason for this is that the emigrants require lower wages, worse working conditions, and can work longer hours than the nationals can. In comparison, the Emirates citizens mostly work in the public sector jobs, which offers higher wages, fewer hours of work, and better conditions of labor. For this reason, the government decided to implicate the female part of the population to make the economy national. The administration gave right to the women to study in the universities and work in the male professions such as the taxi driver. More struggles of the Sheikhs to implement the nationalization include developing organizations for controlling the process of national workers involvement and the plan for training the local citizens to become suitable employees. Moreover, the administration implicated the skilled and experienced foreign specialists to share their professional practices and knowledge for facilitation of the nationalization program.

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