More than 1,300 private companies in the UAE were fined for violating Emiratisation rules from mid-2022 to May 16, 2024, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) announced on Friday.

Violators were fined Dh20,000 to Dh100,000 for each case.

These 1,379 firms were found to have hired 2,170 UAE nationals illegally, Mohre said.

Private companies in the country are required to increase the percentage of their Emirati workforce by two per cent every year to reach at least 10 per cent by 2026.

So far, more than 97,000 Emiratis are working in about 20,000 private companies in the country, based on the data gathered from mid-2022 to May 2024, Mohre said.

Inspections are regularly carried out to ensure compliance. Since rules were enforced, the ministry has caught hundreds of companies who circumvented targets through illegal hiring practices.

Emiratisation is considered fake when it is confirmed that a UAE national works in a nominal job without real tasks to meet the establishment's Emiratisation targets. Some would also 'rehire' an Emirati to manipulate data.

Besides hefty fines of up to Dh100,000, violators were referred to the Public Prosecution.

Some were also downgraded to the lowest company rating within the Mohre system, while others were required to pay Emiratisation financial contributions.

"Harmful practices that aim to undermine Emiratisation commitments will be dealt with firmly and according to the law," the ministry said.

Residents are urged to report any practices that violate labour rules by dialling 600590000 or through the Mohre app or website.

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