Banking experts have identified four major challenges to attracting citizens to work in banks operating in the country, although there are sensitive jobs that only need citizens to work in.

Experts explained to Emirates Today that long working hours and vacations, as well as lower salaries from other jobs, job instability, and the absence of a career path are among the most important factors that prevent citizens from attracting employment in the banking sector.

They stressed that the UAE is full of national talent from new graduates who can join the sector and achieve great successes, pointing out that the local educational institutions have become global specifications graduating competencies can enrich the sector.

The Federal Authority for Competitiveness and Statistics recently revealed that the rate of Emiratization in the banking sector in the country reached 27.4% at the end of last year, the lowest level in eight years.

Localization ratio

In detail, the Federal Authority for Competitiveness and Statistics recently clarified that the rate of Emiratisation in the banking sector in the UAE reached 33.7% in 2011, then fell to 32% in 2012, while it rose to about 33% in 2013, but fell again to reach The decline continued to reach 27.7% in 2016, then increased to 27.9% in 2017, but at the end of last year it reached 27.4%, the lowest Its level in eight years.

She added that although the number of citizens working in the banking sector increased to 341 citizens in 2018 compared to 2017, the number increased from 9,707 citizens to 10,488 citizens last year, the number of non-citizens witnessed a significant increase during the same period amounted to 1613 The number of non-national employees increased from 24,968 in 2017 to 26,581 in 2018.

Government jobs

Moreover, economist Ahmed Arafat attributed the decline in citizens' appetite for working in banks to their demand for more government jobs, because they consider it safer and better.

Arafat said that work within the banking sector is of a special nature, because there are pressures at work to achieve the goals set by the administration, as they are profit-making institutions, unlike the predominantly service-oriented government jobs.

In order to attract citizens to work inside banks, Arafat believes that there is a need to raise salaries, equalize the banking sector with the government sector in terms of the number of days of weekends, and reduce pressure on employees.


For her part, said banking expert, Awatif Harmoudi, that the decline in the number of citizens employed in banks due to several factors, including unattractive salaries, especially as some government and local sectors have raised salaries during the past years, while salaries remained constant in some banks.

Al-Harmoudi explained that when new graduates see a difference in salary, even if it is small, they tend to higher salaries.

She added that the unification of annual official holidays between the private and government sectors, which was recently approved, will contribute to increasing the localization in the banking sector, but the working hours and the number of weekly working days in the sector are still large, as the work in banks extends to six days a week compared to five days in the sectors Other government.

work nature

Hormoudi pointed out that the nature of work in the banking sector forced the employee to stay long hours in his work, indicating that the banking sector is considered by some citizens as a transitional station, they resort to work temporarily to get experience, and then move after one to two years to work in other sectors, and therefore there is no Functional stability.

To overcome this, Harmoudi believes that banks must work with other government agencies to raise awareness of the importance of the sector and its vitality to the economy, especially as there are sensitive positions in the sector need citizens to work.

She stressed that there are qualified graduates of nationals to work in the banking sector, pointing out that universities and colleges in the country of world-class, and give graduates the basics necessary to work.

Citizen adoption

Hormoudi said there is a need for banks to adopt the citizen, through the definition of career growth plan, pointing out that one of the reasons for the citizens to leave jobs in banks is not to progress in the career ladder after several years of work there.

She explained that there are many banking jobs that citizens prefer to work out of other jobs in the bank, pointing out that the role of banks in this case is to determine the bank sectors that citizens prefer to work and attract them.

Career Path

In turn, the banking expert, Amjad Nasr, said that the main reason for the reluctance of citizens to work in the banking sector is the lack of a career path for them to qualify for senior positions in banks.

Nasr explained that the Central Bank has taken effective steps in this matter, it holds banks on the Emiratisation system by the relative weight of the job and not the number of national employees.

He added that according to the system, the bank achieves one point for the Emirati employee in the non-administrative degree, three points in the middle management, and five points for senior management.These points are doubled in the case of appointing a national of motivated people, in addition to obtaining two points in case of appointing an Emirati citizen in a job. Vital, such as investment and risk management, etc., can also achieve points for investment in the training and qualification of citizens, as well as through the commitment of senior management of the bank towards achieving the Emiratization strategy.

He said that the banking sector exceeded the target points of 26.806 last year, meaning that most banks have been able to achieve the target points and some exceeded the target points, and must reach the required number of 29.736 points by the end of the year.

External monitoring

Nasr stressed that there should be an external government agency, which follows the career path of citizens within banks, to ensure that they are on the right track, pointing out that this matter will increase the rates of Emiratization by up to 70% within 10 years.

He believes that there is a need for the management of personnel in the banks qualified citizen, to follow the career path of citizens.

providing support

According to the banking expert, Awatif Al Harmoodi, every newly employed citizen in the bank needs to have a national of expertise and positions in the bank to support him and support him, and this helps a lot to attract citizens to work in the banking sector.

She pointed out that some banks adopt the process of transferring expertise from non-national labor to citizens, stressing that banks need at the same time to non-citizens to support citizens in some jobs and transfer expertise to them.

Al-Harmoodi said that Emiratisation has become a goal for all banks, according to the instructions of the Central Bank, and according to the state strategy, stressing the need to balance banks between the appointment of citizens and non-citizens.