The UAE Employment Paradox

Research Title:

The UAE Employment Paradox: What Makes the Governmental Sector the Most valuable Position Compared to the UK Entrepreneurship-Oriented System?

The Reason for the Choice of the Topic

There is no use denying that the success of the governmental organizations is crucial to the economical state of a country. However, in 2013, the UAE seem to be the exact representation of a too-much-of-a-good-thing paradox: while the governmental sector witnesses incredible success and extremely high rates of employment, the private sector seems to be regressing, which leads to a number of economical issues. Since the impact of the private sector on the state economy is as significant as the one made by governmental organizations, the means to restore the balance between the two in the UAE must be sought.

Problem Identification: Government vs. Private Sector

Being extremely powerful and offering a number of opportunities of the further career growth, the UAE government sector does not allow private entrepreneurship develop, which might lead to economical and financial problems and which stands in sharp contrast to the situation experienced in the United Kingdom, where the governmental sector seems to have lost its value and authority, making way for private entrepreneurships to grow. The above-mentioned situation in UAE presupposes that no premises for the private entrepreneurship development are provided; as a result, the latter do not have any tangible effect on the state political and economical affairs. Therefore, no new ideas are brought to the table, which can possibly lead to economical stagnation.

Research Question (Hypothesis): Boosting the UAE Private Sector Development

As one might have guessed, the key to successful improvement of the current state of affairs within the UAE economy is to provide the means to support the private sector and promote it among the general audience without harming the government enterprises. While the procedure does presuppose taking the status of the governmental companies down a few notches, it is still required to keep the latter

Research Approach: Incorporating the Wisdom of the East and the Business Acumen of the West

Since the current UAE strategy on private business and governmental organizations stands in sharp contrast to the one applied in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, it can be suggested that the key to crating a successful strategy for the UAE is to combine the existing methods with the ones that are exercised in the UK. Among the first steps that are to be taken, privatization of several governmental organizations should be mentioned. The research approach, thus, is going to combine the elements of quantitative analysis, i.e., the calculations of the current percentage of governmental organizations compared to the private ones, the state annual GDP and GNP, as well as the supposed changes that the privatization will bring, and qualitative analysis.

The given analysis presupposes comparing and contrasting the UK and UAE current strategies to distill the one that the UAE should adopt to change the significance of private entrepreneurship. It can be assumed that the research will focus on the current types of business strategies in the UAE and the UK to choose the features that will help improve the former and come up with a plan for the further private sector development.

The Expected Results: Slowly, but Steadily

As it has been mentioned, compared to the situation in European states, such as the United Kingdom, one must mark that in the latter; the government is facing the exact opposite problem, with the financial sector dominating most of the governmental structures. Therefore, the possible way out could lie in combining the economical strategies of the UK and The UAE to produce the one that could possibly encourage the development of the private sector and at the same time would not let the governmental one face the crisis of its own. It can be expected that the given research will end in defining the golden mean between the current UAE policy and the UK policy towards the promotion of the private entrepreneurships and the encouragement of the private sector growth.

Of course, it would be a mistake to expect that the private entrepreneurship of the UAE will immediately rise from the ashes and start contributing to the state’s economy. Quite on the contrary, the reconstruction of the entrepreneurial business system will take a considerable amount of time, especially in the light of the fact that it will be necessary to find a compromise between the private and the governmental sector and, therefore, develop a completely new strategy.


Sadly enough, the given research also has its limitations, which predetermines the approximation of the research results and the necessity to adjust the chosen strategy towards every specific case of private entrepreneurship. Since it is impossible to embrace every single factor that influences private entrepreneurship development, some of the above-mentioned factors might pass unnoticed in the given paper. However, coining basic general guidelines will still help spur the development of private business sector even with the existing limitations standing in the way.

The Development of the UAE Private Sector: When the Governmental Sector Becomes the Fifth wheel in Its Own State’s Economy

Introduction: Government Sector vs. Free Entrepreneurship. A UAE Dilemma

The significance of private sector development has become increasingly clear in the globalization environment of the XXI century. However, according to the existing records, in UAE, the development of private sector is hindered by a variety of factors, which leads to unemployment and regress of production process. Therefore, analyzing the problems of the UAE private entrepreneurship is crucial for the further development of the state and the well-being of its citizens.

Theory: What Stands Behind the UAE Private Sector Inefficiency

To analyze the specifics of the UAE private and public sector specifics, as well as solve the specified problem, it will be required to use such theories as the theory of public administration (Pruthi, 2005) and motivation theory (Hoffman, 2007).

Hypothesis: Improving the Reputation of the UAE Private Entrepreneurships

The hypothesis that needs to be proven or, on the contrary, disproven to solve the specified complexity can be put in the following way: “Will the collaboration of the government, the private sector the employees and the candidates for the positions in the private sector, as well as the change in the employees’ motivation, the HRM practices at the public enterprises and the demands to the candidates for working in the private sector be sufficient to introduce the UAE citizens into the private sector entrepreneurships?”

Research Methodology: Combining the Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis Techniques

Considering the case of the UAE entrepreneurship crisis, one must admit that a theoretical framework is crucial for nailing down the problem and working on the probable solutions, yet it is still required to see the future strategy in action to evaluate its effect and make sure that it is going to work properly. That being said, it is highly likeable that in the course of the given research, both qualitative and quantitative data will be required. The latter will help specify the key features of the UAE situation and figure out the demand of the target market for the private enterprises in the UAE, as well as check whether the proposed solution is going to work. In its turn, the former will help provide a theoretical foil for the research.

Quantitative analysis: the process of questionnaire creation

The key goal of the quantitative analysis in the given case is to analyze the demands of the UAE market, as well as to consider the chances that the UAE private entrepreneurs have against the government sector. In addition, the questionnaire will help specify the key weaknesses of the existing private companies, which will lead to the analysis of the major weaknesses of the private companies and the strengths of the governmental ones. Therefore, a conclusion concerning the areas in private sector that need further improvements will be provided.

Since the goal of the quantitative part of the research is to obtain unbiased results, honest answers and verified statistical data, it is desirable that the questionnaire should be designed for a random person, disregarding his/her position and field of work. The questionnaire will contain twelve questions of five different designs, which will help define the attitude of the UAE citizens towards government and private sectors, as well as figure out what makes people choose the former as their desired workplace.

It is important to mention that the questionnaire is going to consist of five types of questions and will include ten questions. These questions will help define the attitude towards private and public companies among general public, as well as specify the reasons that make people choose public sphere instead of the private one. To start with, the open question will help figure out why people prefer the public sector. It is important that the open question should not restrict the answers to specific choices; thus, it will be possible to obtain an entire palette of explanations concerning people’s vision of the two sectors. Further on, these answers will be split into four major categories, i.e., financial, economical, political and social reasons. With the help of the answers provided by the respondents, it will be possible to conduct an analysis of the current state of affairs within the public sector from the perspective of an average citizen and, thus, define the possible means of improving the private sector.

The questions about attitudes will help check whether the respondents feel comfortable about the idea of working for a private company and whether they consider such possibility at all. In addition, the scale offered for the respondents will help define how well adjusted towards working for a private company the respondents are. By calculating the arithmetic and the standard mean of the numerical value of the answer provided by the respondents, one will be able to define whether the residents of the UAE can adapt to working in a private company. Thus, the questions that contain a scale of attitude evaluation will provide the statistical data of the intensity of people’s attitudes towards the private sector and its owners. In addition, such type of questions will help figure out whether the residents of the UAE see working in a team with foreign employees as a possibility.

Although xenophobia does not seem to be the issue in the modern UAE, it is still necessary to check the given aspect to avoid possible conflicts in the future. It can be expected, however, that people will not bother trying to analyze their feelings towards the private sector issues and will most likely check the boxes that represent the extremes (i.e., “fully agree” or “fully disagree”) or prefer to pick the middle (“indifferent”). Unfortunately, such variants of answers are probably going to be the most numerous, yet they have to be included for the sake of providing the participants with a full range of options. With the help of the given questions, as well as the rest of the questionnaire, the test results are likely to be very informative and provide important statistical data.

Qualitative analysis: data evaluation and the deduction process

The qualitative analysis for the given research is going to be based on the results of the questionnaire, as well as the analysis of the existing literature that sheds the light on the UAE employment problem. Although the questionnaire will provide mostly numeric data, this data will also help specify the current issues within the private companies, which will help conduct a comparative analysis of the existing concerns, splitting them according to their relation to the financial, economical and political issues in UAE.

In addition, the questionnaire will help define the possible methods of the current problem solution. After the questionnaire results are obtained, it will be possible to nail down the key problem of the modern UAE private companies, which make them, look unreliable in the eyes of modern businessmen and, thus, suggest efficient means of upgrading the existing private enterprises.

Literature Review: What the Connoisseurs Have to Say about the UAE Employment Issue

Weirdly enough, the current issues concerning the regress of the UAE private sector have not been discussed considerably in academic papers yet; most of the available information comes from newspapers and magazines, which is quite understandable given that the news concerning the private entrepreneurships regress is comparatively recent. However, some of the existing academic sources have helped shed some light on the problem. Several attempts at explaining the root causes of the phenomenon must also be taken into account, seeing how the source of the problem defines the solution.

General overview of the situation: learning more about the UAE problem

Before going into suggesting the solutions for the specified problem, one must evaluate its scale. In the given case, the work written by Al Abed et al. (2004) is bound to help; even though it was written almost a decade ago, it outlines the key factors that led to regress of the private sector perfectly. As the authors explain, the fact that most UAE private enterprises are run by foreigners might be the reason for the native population to take the government positions. Seeing that in 2004, the UAE was “perhaps, the only country in the world where foreigners dominate the private sector” (Al Abed et al., 2004), the dominance of foreigners in private sector is likely to be the key reason for the problem to appear. Whether the assumptions of Al Abed et al. are right or wrong, they still provide an interesting perspective on the issue.

Al Azri (2010), however, offers a different perspective on the problem. According to what Al Azri says, the foreigner domination factor is no longer the primary obstacle; judging by the current state of affairs, the oversaturation of the public sector has become the key issue on the modern UAE employment agenda.

What owners can do: developing in a competitive environment

While the fact that the public sector lacks employees, whereas the public sphere seems to have become oversaturated with the workforce has been proven, the solutions for the given situation still require more elaboration. As it has been mentioned, two major reasons for the citizens of the UAE to choose the government sector as opposed to the private one is that the latter has been occupied by the foreigners and, thus, has turned completely into the foreigners’ domain.

Evaluating the major problems in the private sector apart from the obvious inclinations of the owners to prefer the immigrant workers to the native ones due to the low demands of the former, one must pay special attention to the fact that the private entrepreneurs rarely care about giving their employees proper motivation, which must also make private companies look like a second choice to the applicants. The research conducted by Hayton, Biron, Christiansen and Kuvaas shows clearly that the UAE private entrepreneurships could be a bit less demanding on their motivation and discipline techniques: “UAE nationals are also generally unprepared for the levels of motivation and discipline that are required in the private sector” (Hayton, Biron, Christiansen & Kuvaas, 2012, p. 388).

It is worth mentioning, however, that the process known as “Emiratization,” which was supposed to “reduce the country’s dependence on an expatriate workforce” (Hayton, Biron, Christiansen & Kuvaas, 2012, p. 388), has already taken place, with little success, though. Hence, it must be admitted that either the entrepreneurs will have to be less demanding so that they could use more qualified workforce, or the applicants should take every opportunity to train their skills, namely, “thinking, mathematical reasoning, and writing” (Hayton, Biron, Christiansen & Kuvaas, 2012, p. 388). At best, each of the “opponents” should take the corresponding steps to meet each other’s requirements.

What government can do: supporting private sector

Back to the fact that the private sector is mostly run by the immigrants from other countries, one has to do something to reduce the power of the foreigners, as well as their impact on the UAE labor force market. Although the chances that the government can reduce the percentage of immigrants among the UAE workforce in the private sphere are relatively low, it is important to mention that in the past few years, the attempts to offer the native population of the UAE a change to enter the private sector have been made.

Among the possible reasons for so many residents of the UAE to reject the option of working in a private sector, the insultingly low wages must be in the top five issues. Since foreign employees, i.e., immigrant, or even migrant, workers make the bulk of the private sector labor force; they are likely to agree to work for lower salary than the native residents are. As a result, the suggested amount of money in private enterprises does not satisfy the needs of the native applicants, who choose the government sector with its superior salary, trustworthiness and professional growth prospects. Therefore, among the possible suggestions for the further steps that the UAE government could undertake to improve the existing situation with the decay of the private entrepreneurship might be introducing several reforms into the Emirati labor system.

With the help of these changes, the standards in private companies are likely to raise a notch, therefore, making the positions more attractive to the native applicants. As the Human Rights Watch explains, the existing law on the wages of labor force is currently being reconsidered, which is more than reasonable, given the deplorable state of private entrepreneurship: “As for now, rules for workers in Kuwait differ according to sector – oil sector employees are governed by one set of rules, domestic by another and the rest by the common labour law, which will be replaced by the new law” (Oxford Business Group, 2011, p. 30).

In addition, it would be a good idea to consider the introduction of a specific program aimed at boosting the UAE private entrepreneurship. To the credit of the state government, such program was already provided soon after it became clear that the public companies were taken by the foreign workforce and that private sector needed help. Called the Entrepreneurship Development Program, the given measure was supposed to address the problems that the UAE private companies faced at the time and provide efficient solutions. When developing the given project, the UAE authorities seem to be considering the actual problems, which private entrepreneurs face. The given feature of the project made it very strong and helpful. As the Staff county report says, the programs that were created to improve the state of domestic entrepreneurship and the so-called SMEs, or small- and medium-sized enterprises, seemed quite efficient at the time:

Key benefits of these programs are simple and streamlined application process, competitive interest rates, and favorable repayment terms. Also, a National Human resource Development and Employment Authority was created to train nationals to ensure that they have adequate skills to be hired by the private sector. (Staff county report, 2004, n.p.)

Therefore, it is clear that the government can make an effort to ensure that the nationals should have the opportunity to integrate into the private sector successfully. Researches show that a number of programs of the given kind were created to support the nationals in their endeavors at conquering the private sector. However, at present, the government seems to have abandoned such attempts, which means that the candidates for positions in private entrepreneurships should also make an effort so that the government could provide the required courses and other types of assistance.

What employees can do: taking chances and making choices

Even though the chances of getting a job in a private sector depend mostly on the owners of the enterprise, the local policies concerning human resource management and the specific needs and demands of a company in question, it would be wrong to claim that the efforts of the applicants does not count. As researches show, often the attempts of the applicants for the job tip the scales towards assigning them with a position in a company, no matter what kind of candidates the local policies prefer over the rest of the applicants. Therefore, it must be admitted that to change the current state of affairs within the sphere of private entrepreneurship, the residents of the UAE have to make decisive steps as well As the researchers conducted in 2004 on the issue show, often the willingness to become a part of the company is what counts the most.

For example, the Labor Market Study of 2004 conducted by Caren Nelson shows that in 2004, the percentage of female labor force formed “a very small percentage of the overall labour force” (Nelson, 2004), mainly because foreign male employees were much more preferable to native female workers in the eyes of the foreign owners of the private UAE companies. However, the study also shows that the female native population of the UAE managed at some point to win impressive positions at several private companies: “Emirati women have made exceptional strides in terms of overcoming cultural and social barriers and are entering the labour market in increasing numbers. Indeed, they can be seen as potential cornerstones of the UAE economy in the future” (Nelson, 2004, p. 32). Therefore, it can be argued that the situation with the unemployment in the private sector will remain an issue unless the native citizens of the UAE start taking actions.

The possible threats and the ways to overcome them

A couple of obstacles might appear in the way of private entrepreneurship development in the UAE. Given the high competition rates (OECD, 2013) and the fact that the private companies are primarily interested in their own profit, they might not be interested in waiting until the native candidates grow professionally. Therefore, a more rapid way of knowledge acquisition for the residents of the UAE should be provided. With the help of an efficient knowledge management approach, however, the problem can be solved (Dalkir, 2005).

Another threat that the attempts to solve the issue pose are the lack of enthusiasm. Truly, the idea that the government should fund the training of the nationals for the latter to be able to join the private companies is likely to fall flat unless the candidates for the positions in private companies want to learn more and acquire new skills. Otherwise, the money thrown on the education program will be wasted. The given problem has been researched thoroughly by Rojewski (2004). To give credit to where it belongs, one must admit that Rojewski offers a very detailed account of not only the measures that have been undertaken so far by the UAE government to support the nationals in their fight for the positions in private sector, but also evaluates these attempts honestly.

Thus, the existing researchers pose the question whether the government of the UAE has take enough efforts to help employees integrate into the private entrepreneurship system, but also whether the employees themselves have done enough to gain the access to the specified field. By making the assumption that employees might have become the fifth wheel in their own career growth, the authors of the researches make it clear that both sides should make an effort for the private enterprises to become a more attractive option for the native population. Hence, it will be required to consider the means to boost the personal and professional growth of the candidates, as well as convince the owners of the private companies that professional residents of the UAE are as valuable as the migrant labor force.

Concerning the anticipated results: when the private market rises

The last, but definitely not the least, the anticipated results must be addressed. It can be expected that with the rise of the private sector, the public one could face similar problems, i.e., high unemployment rates and the lack of qualified labor force (Lienert, 2009). The given problem can be solved, however, by upgrading the quality standards by making them higher and providing a flexible employee motivation program (Lauby, 2005).

Results: What Questionnaires Have to Say

The questionnaires have returned very intriguing results concerning the UAE population’s attitude towards working in public and private institutions. Despite the fact that only 100 participants took part in the research (50 employees of public companies, 10 employees of private entrepreneurships, 35 students and 5 unemployed), one can observe a specific paradigm in the results.

Workplace Statistics
Diagram 1.Workplace Statistics.

Convenience and consistence: no motivation for joining private sector

The analysis of the questionnaires has shown that the people who work in public companies lack motivation considerably. Perhaps, due to the standards established for the public sector employees, which are considerably less stringent than the ones for the private workers, the idea of working for government enterprises is clearly much more alluring to an average respondent than the idea of working in the environment with little comfort. As a result, the employees in public sector are unwilling to strive for professional growth for the sake of their comfort. The key problem of public companies, therefore, is that its workers feel comfortable enough to change anything in their professional life.

Setting the priorities straight: the money issue

Another peculiar piece of information that has been acquired in the course of the questionnaire results analysis concerned the issue of salary. As 90% of the respondents claimed, the salary in the private companies leaves much to be desired, which is the key factor that drives tons of people away from the private sector in the UAE. After a little research conducted in the sphere of private entrepreneurship in the UAE, the results of which have been discussed above, it has been revealed that the private sector in the UAE has been run by the foreign entrepreneurs for considerable time. As a result, the companies in private sector hire the foreign workforce as well. There may be two interpretations of the company leaders’ choice.

To start with, foreign entrepreneurs know little about the UAE citizens and, therefore, prefer hiring the people whose attitude towards work is predetermined by the specifics of their culture and, therefore, is well known to the employers. Another obvious reason for the hiring policies within the private sector concerns the fact that, being immigrants and sometimes even migrant labor force, foreigners are less demanding in terms of their salaries/wages and schedule, as well as various facilities in the workplace. Meanwhile, as far as the results of the questionnaires go, most UAE residents are not ready to work in the specified environment for the low and unstable salary that the private employers offer.

“Do you think that the employees in private companies are being greatly underpaid? “
Diagram 2. “Do you think that the employees in private companies are being greatly underpaid? “

The given diagram shows that most respondents believe private sectors to underpay their staff. As a result, few people agree to try applying for a job in public sector. When it comes to discussing the issue of raising the salary, most respondents agree that trying working in a private sector is not such a bad idea, after all:

“Would you choose to work in a private entrepreneurship if the salary met your requirements?”
Diagram 3. “Would you choose to work in a private entrepreneurship if the salary met your requirements?”

It could be considered that salary is the key stumbling block for people to join private companies. However, exploring the issue deeper, one will find out that there is another problem with the private sector, namely, environment.

Table 1. “Imagine that you work for a private company where one of your colleagues has been fired for no particular reason. Would you voice your protest?”

Yes, this is outrageous. I have to do something! No, I do not feel like sacrificing my own job even for the sake of justice It depends on how close a friend this colleague of mine is
Public sector employees 12 31 7
Private sector employees 0 7 1
Students 26 0 9
Unemployed 0 5 0

The given table shows that in private companies, competition rates are much higher (‘Doing business in the United Arab Emirates,’ 2011). While in public ones, people are ready to voice their concerns, in private enterprises, employees would like to hush conflicts down in fear of losing the job. Therefore, redefining the corporate climate within the private sector is required (Mansour, 2008).

Establishing competitive environment in public sector

Judging by the responses that were provided by anonymous participants of the survey, the most characteristic feature of the UAE public sector is the lack of competitiveness. As a rule, every candidate for a specific position finally gets it, since the standards for employees working in the UAE private sector are rather low. As a number of people who took part in the survey explained, the key reason for them to join the public sector was that it was relatively easy to join it.

Table 2. “What do you think of the programs that help improve people’s professional skills?”

Public sector employees Private sector employees Students Unemployed
I guess they have the right to exist; 13 1 18 5
This is definitely not for me – I have more work than I can handle to waste my time on this kind of stuff; 34 4 1 0
That’s a great opportunity for professional growth! 3 5 16 0

As the table shows, 34 public sector employees are unwilling to improve their professional skills. Students, however, are ready for change, which means that the further changes in public and private sector should be aimed at attracting the people who are studying now.

Therefore, it is clear that the UAE public sector needs an update on its staff hiring policies, as well as the demands that the employees of public companies must meet. It is necessary to stress that the given step is supposed not to make the current public sector managers dismiss the companies’ staff under the pretext of not complying with the new requirements. The given step is to introduce competition into the public sector and, therefore, make sure that people are not going to choose public entrepreneurships as their workplace only because these do not require professionals.

Public sector as the only possible alternative

It is also quite impressive that a number of respondents have stressed that public sector was, in fact, their only employment option. As the results of the survey say, 60% of the people who have never tried applying for the private sector are sure that they will never be able to compete against the foreign opponents. In their turn, 20% of the people who tried applying for a job in a privet sector have stated that they were actually outrun by the foreign rivals at the stage of an interview with the HRM specialist.

Table 3. “Government sector offers more diversity and allows for better career options than the private one.”

Fully agree Partially agree Rather yes than no Rather no than yes Partially disagree Disagree completely
Public sector employees 42 1 2 1 1 3
Private sector employees 6 2 1 0 0 2
Students 28 2 3 1 1 0
Unemployed 5 0 0 0 0 0

In addition, 60% of the respondents have stated clearly that they do not even consider applying for a position in a private company as an option. The given fact shows that the native applicants know or at least suspect why the foreign applicants are preferred by the company’s HRM department. Seeing how the respondents are aware of their faults as specialists, the idea of enhancing the promotion of education opportunities among the native applicants seems rather viable. Once the UAE residents realize that with appropriate knowledge and updated skills, they are an even better choice for private companies than the foreign workforce, the UAE candidates will pursue professional growth. As a result, their value as specialists will rise, which will result in private enterprises hiring more natives (Oxford Business Group, 2008).

Table 4. “Applying for a position in a private sector is impossible, because the foreign managers choose only foreign workforce.”

Fully agree Partially agree Rather yes than no Rather no than yes Partially disagree Disagree completely
Public sector employees 39 4 1 5 6 0
Private sector employees 0 0 0 3 1 6
Students 25 6 2 0 1 1
Unemployed 5 0 0 0 0 0

Cutting down the number of holidays: a necessary measure

Perhaps, one of the most controversial and at the same time necessary measures that must be undertaken to improve the employment rates in the state regarding private entrepreneurships without forcing the migrant workers out of the state or persuading the leaders of private entrepreneurships adopt the strategies aimed against hiring foreign workforce concerns the facilities provided by public entrepreneurships. According to the results of the questionnaire, a number of respondents appreciate the holiday opportunities that they can enjoy in public companies. There is no secret that in most private entrepreneurships, the employee’s schedule has a number of specifics; for instance, it may not include some of the less significant holidays. To level the attractiveness of positions in private entrepreneurships with the ones in public companies, one should provide the employees in public companies with fewer holidays as well; or, on the contrary, one should introduce more holidays to public companies (Kapur, 2013).

The given solution might seem rather problematic when it comes to thinking of its implementation. Indeed, the given measure will require a change in the state law concerning the work organization in state companies, which might trigger a surge of indignation from human rights activists (Mustafa & Khoori, 2013).

Discussion: Searching for the Appropriate Ways to Handle the Situation

The advantages of the suggested methods: the possible outcomes

To start with, it is necessary to stress that the given method will necessarily help raise the bar among employees in public companies and the candidates for positions in public and private companies. As the results of the research say, among the numerous benefits that public companies offer to their staff, one of the highly appreciated ones is the fact that little stress concerning skills improvement or competition is involved:

Table 5. What are your motivations for work?

Money Recognition Satisfaction Other
Public sector employees 42 2 4 Comfort (2)
Private sector employees 10 0 0 0
Students 15 6 14 0
Unemployed 5 0 0 0

Meanwhile, the offered methods will definitely stir the public firms environment, introducing the element of competition into the public sector and encouraging the employees’ initiative to acquire new skills and train the existing ones (Snell & Bohlander, 2011).

The disadvantages of the suggested methods: time, money, effort

Although the provided methods of controlling the situation seem rather reasonable and will most likely drive to impressive results, they still have several drawbacks. To start with, these changes will require much effort. As one might have noticed, a number of these changes occur at the constitutional level, such as the necessity to replace holidays with working days. As a result, these changes will certainly take much time as well. In addition, since it will be necessary to organize seminars for people to train their professional skills, it will be required to do a fundraiser to create the budget for these courses (Lindahl, 2011).

The opportunities: concerning further improvements

Judging by the results of the survey, it can be assumed that the UAE government has sufficient chances to succeed in their attempt to introduce more people into the private sector, thus, preventing a crisis on the public one. According to the results of the survey, people are not ready yet for the changes that will open new opportunities in private sector for them. However, people seem to be willing to try applying their skills in new fields; the above-mentioned is especially true for students, seeing how the latter are more willing to make experiments when it comes to their career opportunities. For instance, in Question 2 of the survey, students were practically the only group where more than 10% of the respondents wanted to work or at least try applying for work in private sector.

“Would you rather choose to work in a public, or in a private sector?”
Diagram 4. “Would you rather choose to work in a public, or in a private sector?”.

The given table shows that even unemployed preferred the public sphere to the private one, which means that the private one at least has a bad reputation in the UAE. However, the people who have experienced working in private entrepreneurships, picked the public ones as well, which says that private companies definitely offer considerably less benefits for its staff (‘Labor Law in the UAE,’ n. d.). Nevertheless, since a relatively high number of students believe that each of the sectors provides equal opportunities, it can be assumed that the reputation of the private one can be improved.

The threats: against reducing the number of holidays

As it has been mentioned above, cutting the number of holidays for the people working in public companies is a reasonable and even desirable step, which, yet, is likely to trigger a number of negative consequences for the owners of the public companies in question. It is expected that the employees will voice their disagreement with the new policies regarding the holidays. It is also worth noting that, in contrast to the disagreements with the policies regarding employees’ qualification, which will be discussed later, the refusal to provide public service employees with the traditional holidays might result in a strong protest. Therefore, a more flexible policy is required (Al Khan, 2013) After all, public sector workers seem to be the ones who are the most content about their career choice:

“You regret about your career choice”
Diagram 5. “You regret about your career choice”.

To avoid the above-mentioned complexity, the owners of the public enterprise should allow the employees to celebrate religious holidays and the basic national ones.

Conclusion: Redefining the UAE Employees’ Perception of Work

Despite the fact that the UAE employment market is currently oversaturated with the candidates for positions in private sector, it can be considered that further improvements are possible. It is impossible to deny that the UAE public sector is currently run by foreigners and is, therefore, extremely hard to conquer for the native candidates. However, it can be argued that the foreign workers seem to have much more skills and knowledge, which is why they are preferred to the natives. Consequently, the only possible solution for the situation is that the owners of private companies and the candidates should both compromise, and the public sector should impose more stringent standards towards the staff.

It cannot be denied that the process of restructuring the government sector will take considerable amount of time. The process of establishing new standards for the employees, creating new rules, and developing a new leadership approach, which is crucial for changing the organizational behavior standards within the public sphere, is very time-consuming. In addition, the changes within the private sector will take huge effort to be carried out, mainly because of the difficulties associated with convincing the owners of the private sector to reconsider their HRM approach. Finally, the employees and the candidates for positions in private companies will have to be convinced in the necessity to train their skills and acquire new ones. However, it can be assumed that the provided solution will help deal with the problem in a more efficient way.

It is important to realize that the lack of native representatives in the private sector is predetermined by a number of factors, which every single agent is responsible for, as explained above, including applicants, employers and the government. While unemployment is defined as the major concern on the UAE agenda, it is necessary to realize that unemployment is only the effect of another problem, which is even greater, i.e., the attitudes of public and private sectors towards employees, as well as the attitude of the latter towards their responsibilities. Once all specified agents acknowledge their responsibilities, a compromise can be achieved and the problem will be finally solved. It is worth keeping in mind that the process of handling the consequences might take time, yet the effects of the suggested strategies are bound to be overwhelming in terms of the unemployment issue solution.

Reference List

Al Abed, I et al. 2004, UAE yearbook, Trident Press Ltd., Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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BusinessEssay. "The UAE Employment Paradox." December 13, 2022.