Impact of Emiratization on work culture in UAE

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Emiratization is a concept that is in general to support the employment opportunities for the countrymen where the expatriates become large in number in comparison to them. United Arab of Emirates also faces same problem. When in the latter half of 20th century, the government started encouraging foreign companies to do their business in country on the lasses faire basis, the population of expatriates started increasing rapidly. The companies used to recruit the foreign people as they were more capable of physical work and needed lesser training. Emiratis were very less preferred for the jobs. Lots of Emiratis tend to go towards only public sector companies as they offered more compensation than private companies. Also the working hours at private firms was not liked by Emiratis. Expatriates are around 91 percent of the total labor market, among remaining 9 percent Emiratis, 8 percent are in public sector and approx 1 percent in private sector.

Emiratization is very much a necessity for the UAE for the sustainability of the growth of the country economy. UAE has the annual 25 percent growth rate with 10 percent inflation rate. The country has the strong background of oil business and the very less population is highly educated. The culture among the Emiratis workers was never of commitment towards the nature of work, they used to be interested mainly in monetary benefits. The eligibility rate is low and citizens needed proper framework of education and training so that the students graduating from school colleges could be able to compete with the expatriate workers. Private firms used to deny the local people of UAE because of their lack of dedication and motivation towards the work.

UAE government introduced some policies so that companies functioning in the region should have good mixture of employees. Cabinet Decree No. 10 was also implemented to ensure the quotas for Emiratis employees in private banks and insurance companies. It was also instructed that the firms should have significant growth rate of Emirati employees. The public sector firms and private banks were successful in implementing in these regulations but the other private companies were not very good at its application.

Objective of Research

This research study is intended towards analyzing the view of people about what are the effects of the Emiratization policies of government on the work culture of the country. In last 10-15 years, the government have introduced several regulation, may not have made it mandatory, to support the local people of the UAE in getting regular jobs. It has affected almost whole of the labor market of UAE, and the work culture is also in transition phase. The Emirati people are now getting more involved in studies and all so that they could get the best jobs available in the market. Also the companies are introducing the policies and frameworks that are suitable for the UAE people.

This research will help in getting the insight of people, it will analyze that what they think of the government policies. The research will be done using the methodology that will involve common people or a group of people. The research will be conducted after the proper analysis of previous work. This research may be helpful in several ways. This will give an understanding of the need of Emiratization, and other students may get to know the changes that are made by government in human resource regulations. The collected data may be analyzed from several aspects and can be utilized in several other researches. From this research, regulating authorities can take help in understanding the employee need and their view towards the policies that are being implemented on the companies. This may help them in suitable modification in the policies to fulfill the requirements of both the companies, employees and also in ensuring the rapid growth of economy with the help of Emirati work force. The conclusions from this research will give an understanding of the organizational culture transition that is resulted from the compliance with the Emiratization policy of the government.

Literature Review on Topic

With the passage of time, the last twenty-five years have seen a number of extraordinary changes at the workplaces in Dubai. The reason for the same has been the tremendous effect that westernization has had over the country in the past few years. If one considers the dimensions of Hofstede or Trompenaars [1] , he/she would find that all the traditions that existed around twenty five years ago have changed in some respect or the other. For example, there was an ancient newspaper that once said that UAE's culture is mainly based on the nomadic culture. Another newspaper said that Dubai attracts most people on account of its coastline culture. One notable historian compared both these statements and came to a conclusion. He concluded that the effect of westernization has been such that none of the basis exists anymore. It has had a tremendous impact on the UAE culture. This impact can be seen at the workplaces as well.

As far as the culture of workplaces in UAE is concerned, there is a medium effect of Universalism over the past twenty-five years at the work places. There used to be a time when the country showed complete traits of universalism where the expatriates were given equal importance as the natives. This was because they were not that many in number in those days. Nowadays, the country follows the traits of Particularism to a large extent. For example, the country follows the policy of Emiratization which qualifies for the term Particularism [2] . Gone are the days when the country used to follow the traits of Universalism. This can be seen from the fact that the country has now regulated the number of hours that the women are supposed to work. So, they are not at par with the hours of duration of the men. This policy is generally followed at all the work places much against what used to be followed about a quarter a century ago.

About twenty-five years ago, the workplaces maintained a co-ordinate effort amongst the employees. The people used to get their leaves on common terms. Many of the families working at the same place went for vacations together [3] . But the conditions have totally changed over the years. Today, UAE is a country that is fast-developing. Under the situations, there is no time for individuals to wait for a certain group to understand the matter. There is hardly any time for the people for themselves. This means that whenever they do find time, they can make it to the vacations. Even going on vacations with families is a tough task in the country nowadays. This is because; in most of the families both the genders work. Even when we talk about the decisions that are taken by the representatives, there is hardly any time that the whole seminar of delegates would be conducted. About twenty-five years ago, a committee would decide over the matter before any decision was taken. The management of respective organizations could afford the time for the same. But today, the workplaces require fast decision-making which is generally done on the spot.

The performance management features at various organizations have also changed considerably over the past twenty-five years. Today, the organizations believe that performance enhancement can be possible by virtue of special training and workshops for the employees. The scenario was not the same about twenty-five years ago. There was hardly any training given to the employees at the work places. The selection was easier for those who carried a work experience. The same is true even today but the chances for the fresh lot to move into the industry has certainly bettered. Owing to the talent that the fresh lot has, they are given the requisite training to perform as expected at the organizations. So, the belief in new employees has strengthened over the years.

Another noticeable change that the UAE work environment has seen over the past twenty-five years has been in the form of their attitude towards things that are done against them. [4] One can estimate from the growth of the country that the people do not keep quiet on any matter. So, the employees are no more toys for the organizations that can be used as wanted. On the other hand, if there is a sign of appreciation, the organizations in the country do their best to applaud the concerned person but if there is any deficiency in the mode of working of the employees, the organizations leave no stone unturned in making the employees pay for the fallacy. So, we can see that the work environment has turned into barter. The conditions were a little more liberal about twenty-five years ago. There was more room for error for the employees who preferred to stay at a single destination of service. There were fewer job changes on account of misconduct. As said above, a disciplinary committee would take care of the matter. Today, there is hardly any time and the pressure from the competitors is so high that the organizations have no other option but to be strict with the performance of the employees.

Another important aspect of the changes can be seen in the form of the employee motivation plans at the work places. As said above, the employees were not given as much training at work places as today. As a result of this, they were not given the required motivation they deserve. The organizations enhance employee motivation as a tool to prepare a positive employer, today. Once this happens, the employer can be assured to get the best performance management results out of the employees. They will have enough freedom to express their views.

Research Methodology: Focus Group

The methodology that can be used in conducting the survey on the impact of Emiratization on work culture is through focus group. An interrelated sample has to be kept in mind such that one can draw the extent of internal as well as external views of the impact of Emiratization. The total number of people taken for the focus group can be anything depending upon the feasibility and availability. It has also been kept in mind that the questions are asked such that one can draw an equitable conclusion without being directed in any path. As the number of participants will be more the results will be more accurate qualitatively.

Focus group research method is used when the analysis is to be done qualitatively about the issue like Emiratization. The focus group helps in getting the insight of participants about the topic. In this method of research, some groups of people gather to discuss thoroughly on a topic. The discussion is done from several aspects of work culture. This method may be done in several forms. The focus groups are formed from the people representing some common background. Some group may belong to employees from private firms. Few groups may be invited from the banking and insurance field. Similarly employees of public sector companies may also be invited. The invited employees may be of different types like Emiratis, Indians or Europeans. Number of group sessions may vary according to the need of researcher and feasibility. As more numbers of sessions are done the result becomes clearer. Also the different variety of groups led to discussion from various aspects. While discussions groups may be governed by one or two moderators. Each moderator may be reviewing different aspect or one supporting or opposing the arguments of other. This may also be done by making one of the participants as the moderator and may be asked to control the whole discussion.

The focus group method is done normally by arranging a meeting at some place and then giving the topic to the participants. The moderator drives the discussion towards the relevant direction that may be helpful in the research. The whole discussion thong may also be done online. The respondents may be invited on some common portal and they can post their views concurrently. This type of discussion is very feasible in terms of resources involved and also it results in time saving for the research. This online discussion can also easily be well documented and may be used for further reference. These online discussions involve some constraints like the anonymity and the use of abusive language but may be regulated using some good regulatory framework. Also you can't analyze the body language of participants wile discussion which is a major part during the analysis of such discussions.

These focus group discussions require a thorough preparation before you invite the participants. There should be a guideline made for the discussion on Emiratization and it should be handy to the moderators. The guideline should comprise of the objective of research and the work culture areas that are needed to be covered during the discussion. Moderators should follow strictly the guideline otherwise the discussion may go out of the topic in absence of proper control over the people. Also the participants that are to be invited should be decided on the basis of availability and the familiarity with the Emiratization policies.

Target People:

Employees of some Private firms may be from manufacturing sector, service sector, banks etc.

Employees of some Government Organizations.

Employees from some media companies.

Groups made:

Every group should be homogeneous in nature. Employees from similar type of companies should be in same group. The age based variability can be there. The groups should also be homogeneous based on their being local or international.

Questions asked:

The questions will cover different aspects of Emiratization. Discussions will be done on them and also every member of group will tell about the effects that Emiratization has put already on their organization. Also the questions would be framed on the necessity of Emiratization. There is also very important to analyze the role of media and what workers think of their importance in spreading this idea of Emiratization. In discussions, questions will be like:

What do you think of Emiratization?

Emiratization is need?

Is Emiratization a forceful policy?

Benefits of Emiratization?

To what extent you organization follows the policy

What happened in your organization after Emiratization implementation?

How much do you think media is involved?

Does media involvement necessary?

What difference will it be if media gets too much involved?

How Emiratization affected workforce diversity and workplace environment?

Several more these type of questions can be framed.

Data Collection

One of the most viable methods to collect data for a research is by sampling. The reason for the same is that as the candidates are selected on a random basis, there are very minute chances of having a partiality in the views. Generally, a random sample is able to give a diversified lot. So, this would not only cover the entire population but would also cover all the related objectives. The discussion conducted would also take care of the personal information of the group members, which would be able to denote the percentage of diversity in the population taken for the same. The procedure of selecting the sample is least complicated. Depending on the size of the session group selected, one would have to choose a number from 1 to n, such that every nth person from the sample is selected for the research. This way, the system would be fair in sample selection. As for example, let's say that a 10% sample of the crew of a private firm is selected for the research. Under the situation, one should select every tenth person for the discussion without any variations in the selection process.

Collection of data during discussion is very complicated in focus group method. As this methodology is very qualitative in nature, the information used to be in the form of statements, talking, quotes etc. The discussion needed to be properly monitored to capture all the type of discussions and even a single argument may have significant importance in concluding about the Emiratization impact. This can be done accurately if whole conversation is recorded, at least audio. If the discussion is not recorded then the session result may come out to be biased according to the moderator views and preferences. The moderators tend to influence whole arguments according to their own orientation. This is useful up to the extent that moderator is following the guidelines that is provided to him. If the recording is done of the discussion then it can be analyzed by few more moderators and the conclusion drawn will be more accurate.

From the discussion all the important arguments and conclusions are documented and saved for the further comparison with the next session findings. As the process goes on the collected data start giving some more guidelines, very much significant to the research. It is helpful in modifying the present guidelines for the better results. For the data collection the equipments that we need are the video/audio recorders, microphones, diary, laptop, soft-wares like MS Word, MS Excel etc.

Data Analysis

Data collection is followed by analysis of gathered information. In focus group methodology of research the information that is gathered are not in form of numerical data, but they are sentences, quotes etc. The analyses of this information are done by comparing and analyzing the things that are concluded from one session with others. The discussion data are firstly categorized according to the initial guideline of the discussion. Every argument is put according to the field they belong. The guideline instructions help in sorting of the whole lot of data. But the filtering and categorizing of data should be done very carefully otherwise if wrong field is selected for an argument then in further analysis it will become irrelevant. After the categorization, the validation of the information is done by assessing the collected information with the facts. This resulting information will start giving a preliminary insight of the impacts of Emiratization on the work culture.

The guideline that was formed initially should cover as many aspects of work culture as possible. Also the moderators are also instructed to brief the participants about the scope of discussion and also they are required to give a summary on government Emiratization policies and the different areas of work culture that are of major concern. Some of them are mentioned below:

Business hours: It is one the major concern as the Emiratis don't like the work hours as scheduled by the private companies, that's why they used to prefer public sector firms who have more suitable policies. So the discussion should be made on this thing necessarily.

Remuneration levels: The pay scale varies in the government and private firms significantly. And by tradition these Arab people are very concerned about the monetary value involved. As seen in work culture of normal Emirati, the dedication is less towards work than any expatriates. So this is also an important discussion for analyzing the impact of Emiratization on work culture as government is more and more trying to attract their nationals towards the regular jobs in private and government firms. Also another regulation is also under consideration that is to make a different pay structure for the Emiratis in both government and private firms, although these are not very much supported by the much private firms.

Skills standards: The Emiratization policy also involves training and educating the UAE nationals to come up to the level of work needed by international firms.

Organizational culture: Emiratization is also affecting a lot to the organizational culture by making different regulation for according to the nationality of employees. May be it is positive or negative but it worth of discussion to analyze the impact of Emiratization on work culture. Some organization has started showing preference towards UAE nationals so that they can take profits from the dealings with government.

Career development: Organizations have been instructed to provide an extra training to UAE nationals in comparison to the expatriates so that they may also some of the level of other workers. These career development opportunities are attracting a great deal of local employees.

Internationalization: The Emiratization is also helpful in creating international experience in the UAE citizens, and they get to be able to understand international technologies and management ways so that they can evolve leading and managing capability required for the top level of multinational companies.

Social capital and Emiratisation: The impact of Emiratization is helping in what way for the development of the society is also a point of discussion.

Trust: The impact on trust among employees belonging to gulf nations and expatriates due to Emiratization policy is also significant. If there is given different treatment to employees according to the nationality, then there used to be lack of trust among the employees. It may result in lower performance of employees.

Gender: The Emiratization policy also impacting the gender ration of the organizations. The company timings are instructed to be made according to the national citizen's routines. Also there are several regulations which are facilitating the working of women in the companies. Traditionally it was not preferable for women to work in Arab nations.

After the data are categorized under these fields and validation is done of the information, the analysis process is started. The analysis is done as per different criteria of the Emiratization policy. This analysis is exhausting in nature so that all the points get covered in the process. The points are discussed among the moderators in unbiased way. The analysis process is done according to the previous researches that are reviewed during the literature review part of the research. The qualitative analysis can be done now in two ways:

Coding: This analysis involves the conversion of individual views in some quantitative form that can be represented to other people. This is done by researcher after the data is categorized and the impression of some arguments on a researcher ar worth shoeing in form of graph or figure. It can also tell about the approximate trend qualitatively. The segments of data are assigned some codes and also their relations are described. After the completion of coding the summarizing and relativity analysis of codes can be done which result in drawing some relevant conclusion about the research. The efficiency of this coding depends upon the type of data. Some data may be very structured like the focus group discussions that are done under strict regulations of guidelines, and dealing with the particular set of issues.

Recursive Abstraction: In this analysis procedure, the data is summarized and then monitored and then again summarized according to relevance and then the same process is repeated several times. This finally results into the extremely filtered information and lots of things can now be inferred from that.

Critical Analysis

This phase involves the analysis of the resulted information on various aspects and it is done by expert people of the field. The information that we get from the data analysis phase, is required to be aligned with the objective of study. Also the perceptions of the arguments are considered from different angle. The pros and cons of the things that were discussed are considered from different perspectives and the results are regularized more accurately to represent the actual idea that is the result of study. Sometimes it may happen that the result that comes after the analysis phase may be interpreted differently by various people. And also it's not their fault; these qualitative conclusions may have several meanings if they are studied in different environment. This critical analysis helps in reframing the conclusions direct from the analysis.

Critical analysis is also done to incept the assumption taken for the research in the final results. For doing any study, their used to be certain assumptions and they need to be incepted in the conclusion otherwise the results may not seem to be real. This research is very near to the common workers of the UAE. The population dimensions of the local and international employees in UAE say a lot of things. It is also very necessary to analyze their response towards the level of media involvement in making this Emiratization a necessity. This communication channel may be taken as facilitator of the successful implementation of Emiratization in companies. There can also be another aspect of it whether the media is taking it as the positive or negative policy for the workforce of UAE.


This conclusion part is the major part of the research. This phase is to summarize the conclusions and relate them with the previous work/researches. The conclusion should represent the results of the study in descriptive way. The conclusion consists of the all the arguments that are major in impacting the work culture due to implementation of Emiratization. The relation between the results and their significance in the coming time is also needed to be explained. Here the summary of the research methodology and the background that was utilized for the study is also provided.

The conclusion of a research is the summary of the whole process. The reasons behind the selection of topic, background study and the intended information that was expected from the research may also be mentioned. This part tells about the variety and number of people that were involved and the phase that were undertaken to reach the conclusion. The conclusion specifies the final results one by one while mentioning their importance in the impact of research topic like how a result is important in describing the impact of Emiratization on work culture.


This part describes the experience of the whole research process and according to that what researchers think that went wrong. Here the researcher tells the measures that should be taken if performing the similar type of study. After concluding the results of the research, researcher tend to discuss what they would have done to get more accurate results like they would have called more people from the private firms for the group discussions in comparison to government employees. Also they may also think that if there would have been more participation from the expatriates they should have get better results more significant to the research. Recommendations are made so that if another person is going to do some research work after studying this research, then what he will particularly keep in mind. This recommendation part may also tell about the assumption that reader should keep in mind while implementing the results somewhere.

Future Research

This part of the research is discussed after the recommendations. This is very important to discuss that what more can be done related to the topic of study. This also helps in analyzing the limitations of the research. In this phase the related topics are also discussed that can be analyzed in the same way. These discussion help researchers in getting the insight of the research topic's relation with other considerable issues. The future research discussions may help in refining the study and may also give researcher a new direction to do the research. These future researches are several time helpful in getting more accurate results and help in removing the problems that were faced during the research and due to which some results may got affected. Also it tells about the other focuses that can be taken while considering the same topic for research.


Limitations tell about the constraints that were assumed during the start of study. These limitations are the things which led to the non practical results several times. While doing the study on the impact of Emiratization, it may occur that due to feasibility analysis only the employees of some particular location are invited for focus group discussions. This may led to the biased results and the conclusions drawn may become irrelevant for other places. The limitations may be in forms of the monetary resources, permissions available or accessibility for the target people of research, time considerations that may lead to inaccurate results due to some mis-representation of the information.

Significance of Research Methodology Used

Insight not rules: The focus group methodology is helpful in getting insight of any issue. It is not a quantitative technique of analysis but it gives very good results if used for suitable issues. In this methodology any rules are not framed by analyzing the numerical data and bys using some principles, but the ideas are presented about the issues.

Social not individual: This analysis method is not like other ways of research as we see in Interviews, Survey, Content analysis etc. The Focus Group method is not about judging an individual and listening one by one to him according to his own specific beliefs. This method tend to analyze using a social method where a group of people discuss on the same topic and the conclusion is made after doing thorough discussions on several aspects. So it helps in understanding the issue like Emiratization more accurately in the real world way that how it affects the work culture. In questionnaire or interviewing methods, questions can't be framed properly for these social issues and there is a limit to the number of questions also. But during a group discussions, people may express their views openly about the about the work culture transition due to the Emiratization.

Homogeneous not diverse: The groups are formed from the people of nearby characteristics as opposite of the other research methods. This helps in good quality study as if the members of the group will belong to different fields or areas, they may not be able to express their views about the Emiratization policy openly by maintaining a line of secrecy.

Flexible not standardized: This method of research is highly flexible and not like following standards in other methods that you have frame questions like this, you need to take sample according to this etc. Any changes can be made in between the research process so as to get more accurate results.

Warm not hot: The focus group discussions are done with the boundary of intimacy and do not involve any private matter discussions. In other methods the salary structure and family background are also considered specifically but focus group does not need this information.

Words not numbers: The focus group is a qualitative analysis technique and it does not involve the number crunching process like quantitative methods. This method of research is done by the researcher using the theoretical analysis, summarizing, filtering and validation etc. Focus group analysis depends upon the arguments given by the participants. In some other analysis techniques, data are taken in numerical form the participants and then are analyzed. These numerical data may not be as accurate as participants may have filled questionnaires and all insignificantly.