Viral Shah
Hr Outsourcing
Plan And Coordinate Hr
Manager - Manpower Planning
+2 Others

Cite.Co is a repository of information and resources created by industry seniors and experts sharing their real world insights. Join Network
Hi all
Thought i would touch on this oft sidelined/ignored quantity in the Dubai market.In a melting pot like Dubai we all seem to be so caught up in meeting our targets and goals that some amongst us have even stopped trying to use those basic tenets of HR one of which being 'the right talent for the right job' irrespective of sex,religion(exceptions are there to every rule).
Would welcome discussions on current situation with respect to the above topic and dealing with biased recruitment trends in the Dubai market.

is it biased only in dubai? actually it is biased everywhere in its own sense, if it is india then it is from the same state, etc.,
I do agree with Mr. Sundararajan......But we can not side by the system......any would like to know to take initiatives for that.....if any......pls.....share with us....
'right talent for the right job' does not hold good for Dubai in atleast two contexts. One, Emirati is preferred as far as organizations headed by locals are concerned. Two, in the same scenario a white skin is also preferred to a brown skin. They get carried away by the white skin!!!!! If given a choice between a white and a not so polished brown, irrespective of the talent or the calibre of 'brain power' white is preferred....
As far as compensation goes, the above two groups again get a better deal irrespective of talent or not!!!!
At the same time, I would also like to mention that there do exist a number of organizations where Indians are preferred, especially for the finance dept!!!!!!

How about a Research on finding out is there any factor apart from the merit that influences the selection of the candidate? and is there any factor related to color, sex and race which are influencing this decision? and it would be good if the research could also go into the reasons for the employer to think so!
Dear All,

Unlike US & UK where Equal Opportunity Employment is taken seriously, in Dubai, it does not hold much value because of the following reasons:-

1. Dubai is just developing it's corporate sector. Even now the country has more construction workers than white collar employees. Hence the corporate scenarios at Dubai is at a budding stage. It will take them few more years to understand the importance of Corporate Values like Equal Opportunity Employment, Diversity, Employee Retention Programs etc etc.If you look at most of the companies in Dubai, inspite of having big names and successful business they still do not have concrete HR & Training Departments. Very few companies have the concept of formal Appraisals, KRA's, Job Descriptions etc etc.

2. Also, because of religious reasons, some companies which have work involved in Dubai and Middle East cannot offer Equal Opportunity Employment as certain countries do not allow women to work.

3. I also agree with Geetha that preference to white skin is very prominent in Dubai irrespective of the talent. This is because very few companies understand the power of Equal Opportunity Employment.



Hi all i see that the heat is on!!! Well thank you for all your thoughts and keep them coming.

now on a further note and also as to add to Mr.sundarrajan's post about bias around the world.Well actually in theory yes we as humans are biased.We psychologically relate and tend to lean towards images or perceptions that have been tested based on our experiences.

Now the question i feel is to firstly ask ourselves this, do our perceptions and experiences hold true in every context?why i ask this is that since we all could be in different parts of the world brought up in different environments our sense of right and wrong and the amount that these boundaries of right and wrong can be flexed also differ.A simple example would be the concept of time in dubai.If a person is given a time it is unfortunate that a higher percentage of individuals do not make it on time for the meeting stating reasons of traffic and so on so forth.The same also unfortuntely applies to people who request the meeting.Time is considered flexible in many cultures and less so in others.

Now what relation does all this have to Equal opportunity employment in Dubai and also the emiratization!!

Well to begin with i have myself been involved with emiratization programs and as a matter of fact i have created and begun implementation of an emiratization plan for an organization of more than 10000 people.What i have realized is the following

The emiratization focus today has changed from the initial idea of blind and uncontrolled implementation of a plan, to one aimed at empowering a nations people(Self empowerment of an entire generation)

Today the emiratization plan has three main areas of focus

empowering the national workforce to take the future of their nation into their own hands using tools of experience and education

To Attract back those emaratis that have studied and gained experience in western countries

To create entrepreneurs and business leaders amongst emaratis

The main stumbling blocks are two

A) Lack of skilled profesional with adequate experience to take up positions of responsibility

B)perception differences amongst emaratis
(to further explain the above point there are two kinds of emaratis that are in Dubai.the emaratis who are ambitous and also at the same time willing to empower themselves by education,training and work experience) and the emaratis who feel it it their birthright to be in the highest pay while doing almost nothing.

Many is the time when i have had to arbitrate among emaratis due to the above perception and some of the performers have come to me asking why non performers are getting the same salary and benefits that they do!!! without any performance.

Now at the onset i do have to accept something.Equal opportunity is a costly proposition in the short term YES it is.Reason being it is easier to achieve team synergies in with people of [preferable same nationality.but then thats what you will get!! short term benefits and growth.

Equal opportunity can be instituted in dubai and i would like to put forward a few strategies which i myself have instituted in organizations

A) Let us accept emiratization is here to stay just like reservation in India and or any no of schemes that govts. Of different countries take to protect their native workforce.
Once in a conversation with the current vice president of a very big bank in dubai someone asked him about the high cost of emiratization to which pat came back the reply,"Well that is the cost of doing business in dubai take it or leave it"
(this bank has among the highest rates of emiratization in the banking sector)

B)Reserve clear percentages for emiratization in every department and allocate investment budgets.

C)Always start equal employment opportunity implementation in a small scale preferable one department to convince the management of ROI over a period of time.This will be shown through effeciency of the department.

D) also for that particular department have purely skills based selection method with proper documentation of selection processes

E) invite ,yes invite the emaratis in the department to be a part of the process.Two pronged advantage with this. Sometimes it pays to be kingmaker and not the king and the other is let the emaratis also learn the advantages of having skilled and talented people working with them rather than people who can just speak their language.

F) Lastly always try and employ a grading system that works for the organization.Mundane aping of systems might not work well and might cause more problems than good

Well with that i would like to invite further discussions on this topic and also look forward to your opinions on how we can all help to further the cause of equal employment in dubai

by the way there are companies/departments in companies that do follow equal employment.And they are dubai based companies not foreign companies

On that note cheers

I agree to what Geetha has to say, and also would like to throw some light to it...
I have dealth with a lot of Emiratis most of which have been pretty lazy. But there have been some who really have worked hard.
They themselves agree to the point that most of them are lazy cause of the advantages and benefits their country offes to them.
But I guess now many companies have started to recruit talent not based on nationality. Over a period of time they have realised the pros and cons of having emiratis...
Whites have started to realise that they can get quality people with lesser salary...and that;s what they have started to do now..
I myself have known this as I have discussed this issue with couple of senior HR persons.
But there are always exceptions to everything and nothing is so perfect..
But as long as we are expats whereever we may go or be there will always be a disparity...but the way we take it and work on it, depends comp on us.....

Hi All,
I agree fully with Geetha as our talent excellence is not being recognized just cause of the nationality in this country especially in local companies as Emaratis are preferred for HR position irrespective of their lack of thorough knowledge of HR and its functions.
Kind regds

Bull's eye phrca!!!! absolutely valid points brought forward...
I am just thinking aloud, adding one more perspective.....
The dynamics of Dubai as a whole is changing. Earlier it was expats here helping in the building of this nation (still are!!) and the benefit for them was the good amount of savings..... now, all of us are aware that this has is becoming increasingly difficult to attract good talent due to the huge rise in rents etc etc.... (another subject by itself)
Opening of freehold property brings in another dimension. After all these projects are completed, say, after 2011... the owners of these properties are also in a way citizens of this country..they have liked something about this place and bought property here......
so, i think after a few years the workforce composition will be something like - emiratis + freehold property owners + expats - with % of expats going down....
in this mix probably 'right talent for the right job' will be worked out....

Geetha:-D (very happy to discuss this issue...thank you phrca(hope i got it rite!!!!) for bringing this issue up for discussioin)

This discussion thread is closed. If you want to continue this discussion or have a follow up question, please post it on the network.
Add the url of this thread if you want to cite this discussion.

About Us Advertise Contact Us
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service

All rights reserved @ 2020 Cite.Co™