DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates will introduce a form of unemployment insurance, Cabinet said on Monday, the recent Gulf state reform as it tries to attract talent and investment amid regional economic competition.
Insured workers will get paid for some time if they are not working, the Prime Minister of the UAE and Deputy President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also the director of the Dubai trade hub, said on Twitter, citing a cabinet decision.
“The aim is to strengthen labor market competition, provide a social umbrella for workers and establish a stable workplace for all,” the statement said. The report did not specify whether this would apply equally to citizens and non-citizens in the UAE.
Permits to stay in Gulf countries such as the UAE, where foreigners make up 85 percent of the IMF population, are usually tied to employment, and unemployment means that an employee has to leave the country.
The Gulf states that Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia provide unemployment support to citizens, and that Bahrain has some form of unemployment insurance for civilian workers.
As Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Gulf, opens up its economy, the UAE has been pushing to keep action on its neighbor, bringing new types of visas and social reforms to attract and retain skilled workers and their families.
The UAE changed its Saturday-Sunday weekend to a closer look at global markets, and over the past 18 months it has reviewed laws and regulations, including banning alcohol use and premarital cohabitation.
Cabinet also announced new targets for the employment of Emirati citizens in the private sector – a long-term policy known as the “Emiratisation”.
It wants to see Emirati people representing 10pc of private sector employees with companies with more than 50 employees by 2026, with rates increasing 2pc per year to date.
Published Parhlo, May 10, 2022