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Employee Skill Gap Analysis
Dr. Kshitij Deshmukh
August 17, 2023
16 min read

Future of Emiratization: Building a Skills-first Organization with AI-driven Skills Intelligence

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Amidst the UAE's quest for economic growth, a surprising challenge emerged—a scarcity of local Emirati talent in the private sector. With a mere 4% of Emiratis working in this domain, the government set a bold target to raise this number to a remarkable 10% by 2026.

Enter "Emiratization," a revolutionary initiative aimed at revolutionizing the landscape of the UAE private sector. From BFSI to IT, retail to telecom, and beyond, this visionary program seeks to empower Emiratis and propel them to the forefront of the nation's economic success.

But that's not all; the UAE government has unleashed its mighty "Project of the 50s," unveiling the prestigious NAFIS program to bolster Emiratis in the private sector. With an ambitious vision to skyrocket the UAE's GDP from AED 1.4 trillion to an awe-inspiring AED 3 trillion, the "We the UAE 2031" initiative stands as a testament to the nation's determination and resilience.

However, the prevalence of skills gaps and shortages within the private sector continues to impact the efforts put in as part of Emiratization. As per the recent UAE skills gap survey, 50% of participants from UAE-based companies stated they suffer from skill shortages in one or more areas. Adding on to this crisis, 90% of the respondents mentioned they struggle to find suitable candidates to fill existing skills gaps.  

In this blog, we’ll explore the remarkable impact of Emiratization on the burgeoning BFSI sector. Delve into how this dynamic industry is embracing the challenge and uncover the ways skills intelligence can help in the Emiratization triumph. Let’s get started!


1. Emiratization refers to an initiative by the UAE government to increase the representation of the Emirati workforce in the UAE's private sectors like BFSI.

2. Different factors impact the smooth implementation of Emiratization in the BFSI sector including drastic technological transformations, the development of new skills, seasoned Emirati professionals' preference to the public over the private sector, and others.

3. An AI-powered skills intelligence cloud can help the UAE's BFSI sector in achieving the goals of Emiratization by aiding in acquiring talent, upskilling/reskilling the existing workforce, internal mobility, workforce planning, and so on.

The Impact of Emiratization on the UAE’s BFSI Sector  


The UAE government’s Emiratization plan has impacted each private sector differently. Today, we will look into how Emiratization impacts UAE’s BFSI sector. Recently, the UAE Bank Federation (UBF) came up with a decision to accelerate the pace and quality of Emiratization by training Emirati professionals and combating fraud.

As part of achieving the goals of Emiratization, they intend to hire 5000 UAE nationals into the BFSI sector in the next five years. Similarly, a top bank in Dubai also reported a 100% increase in Emirati employee appointments at the bank's managerial level. Although there are several decisions taken by UAE’s BFSI sector, you should know that there are many factors that impact the smooth implementation of these decisions. They include:  

Drastic digital and technological transformations  

The BFSI sector, akin to others, is impacted by the rapid pace of digital and technological transformations taking place. Yes, it’s true that in the long run, aligning with these changes can benefit any organization in achieving business growth.  

For instance, as per a recent research survey by MarketsandMarkets, the global digital banking platform market size will grow to 13.9 billion USD by 2026 at a CAGR of 11.3%. However, to reap the perks of these digital transformations, the UAE’s BFSI sector must equip its workforce with the right skill sets through upskilling, reskilling, or cross-skilling. If not, it could become challenging for the UAE’s BFSI sector to keep up with these revolutionizing trends and contribute towards Emiratization.  

Development of new skills and competencies  

With these many technological advancements happening, the skills universe is also rapidly evolving with new skills and competencies. Due to this, there is an ever-widening skills gap in UAE’s BFSI sector. In the BFSI sector, there has been a rise in many disruptive technologies like Big Data Analytics, Robotic Process Automation, Cloud Computing, Blockchain Solutions, and so on. This has increased skill gaps and concerns with identifying the right talent for HR professionals.  

Seasoned Emirati professionals' preference for the public sector over the private sector  

One of the critical problems the BFSI and every other private sector in UAE face regarding Emiratization is the lack of interest among seasoned Emirati professionals to switch from the public to the private sector. They believe that the public sector offers better L&D opportunities, career progression, and stability than the private sector. This is a challenge adding to the HR professionals in recruiting experienced Emirati talent to the UAE’s private sector like BFSI.  

Adding onto this challenge, a recent study by PwC showed that two-thirds of Emirati employees who participated in the survey working in the private sector showed interest in returning to the public sector. The reasons stated range from issues in overall working experience to concerns with meeting their professional experience like work-life balance, stability, and more.  

Although there are such adversaries, a silver lining is the interest shown by the newly graduated Emiratis to join the private sector. New graduates prefer the private sector to enhance their skills in emerging technologies, creativity, innovation, research, and data analytics.  

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How is the UAE's BFSI Sector Handling these Issues?


From increasing the recruitment of Emirati talent to banking, financial services, and the insurance sector to upskilling existing talent, there are different measures taken by organizations in the UAE’s BFSI sector to handle the above-discussed concerns.  

For instance, the UAE Banks Federation is laying impetus on enhancing skills in Emiratis to take up leadership roles for closing the existing skills gaps. They are also initiating training and technical sessions to keep up with the rapid developments and transformations happening in the banking sector. The BFSI sector is also amping up hiring processes by taking a skills-centric approach. While doing so, they are conducting manual skills assessments to ensure their candidates have the proper skill set.  

However, moving forward with manual assessments and assigning upskilling programs with little clarity on employees’ skills, proficiencies come with their issues. These include increased errors, concerns with gaining the expected results, impacts on employees’ productivity, career goals, experience, satisfaction, and more.  

So, how can your organization avoid facing such concerns and contribute towards the goal of Emiratization?  

The simple answer to this question is to rely on a Skills Intelligence platform like the one offered by iMocha.  

How iMocha’s Skills Intelligence Cloud can Help the UAE’s BFSI Sector in Achieving the Goal of Emiratization?

Skills Intelligence Cloud can Help the UAE's BFSI Sector

iMocha's AI-driven Skills Intelligence Cloud is a comprehensive platform that can help your organization make better hiring decisions and improve its talent development and management initiatives. It does so by building detailed skills taxonomies and ontologies after analyzing different job profiles within your organization. Being said that, now, let’s explore how iMocha’s skills intelligence cloud can help the UAE’s BFSI sector in achieving the goals of Emiratization.  

  1. Assists in creating skills inventories, skills taxonomies, and skills ontologies that further aid in forming job descriptions, conducting seamless hiring processes, finding the right talent, forming customized learning paths and trajectories for your employees, and so on.  
  2. Improve recruitment success rates by increasing the quality of hire and reducing the time to hire candidates. The recruitment success rate also includes other metrics like hiring sources, cost per hire, offer acceptance rate, candidate job satisfaction, retention, and more.  
  3. Conduct skill-based assessments and skill validation to shortlist candidates with the right skills or adjacent skills required for a job profile.  
  4. Help in bringing gender diversity and improving DEI practices to your company.
  5. Aid in conducting multi-skill validation through manager evaluation, social data, certifications, licenses obtained, and more. This will be beneficial in creating skill proficiency levels and insights, which will further help identify skills gaps and make career development plans.  
  6. Assist in creating employee skills profiles and career paths, which is useful for forming personalized learning plans.  
  7. Aid with boosting internal mobility by identifying employees with skills or adjacent skills to fill skills gaps within your company.

Final Thoughts  

From digital transformations to seasoned professionals’ unwillingness to join the private sector, there are different factors that impact the UAE’s efforts of Emiratization. Even then, private sectors like BFSI are making efforts to overcome these constraints through manual efforts. But in reality, the UAE’s BFSI sector can accelerate its pace towards Emiratization by relying on AI-powered skills intelligence cloud. So why not leverage this new technology in your talent acquisition and management activities?

Emiratization success starts here – Elevate your BFSI sector with iMocha's Cutting-Edge Skills Intelligence Platform
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