Shaping UAE’s Workforce Through HR Transformation

how hr transformation can shape UAE's workforce

The United Arab Emirates has undergone many essential transformations in the past decade to improve economic growth and technological advancement. This strengthened the role of human resources (HR) and became significant in shaping the future of work in the UAE.

This blog delves into human resources in the UAE and the importance of transformation in driving the country’s future economic success. HR teams are responsible for withholding recruiting, training, and retaining employees and constructing policies that encourage workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion.

HR Significance in UAE until 2023:

According to a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry report, the UAE’s human resources sector is valued at approximately AED 5.5 billion. The HR sector involves various tasks: recruitment, training and development, employee engagement and performance management in UAE.

HR professionals face several challenges in their field, irrespective of the organization’s size. 79% of the workforce in the UAE faces HR challenges because of the reliance on expatriate workers. This presents a unique challenge for the HR team, as they must focus on a multicultural workforce and make it innately diverse while adhering to local laws and regulations.

Additionally, technological advancement has created a need to stay updated with the latest HR trends and tools in and around the UAE. As per the report by Gulf Business, the use of digital HR tools and HR software in every organization has increased from 72-80%. This trend is expected to continue since companies are looking for HR processes to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

Importance of HR Transformation in UAE

Although there is enough progress in the HR Field at organizations in the UAE, there is still a need for growth and transformation with booming challenges in the future of work.

According to a report by Deloitte, there are various drivers for the transformation of HR in the UAE. Those include:

1. Attraction and Retention of Talent

According to a survey by, a leading job search portal in the Middle East, the most critical factors to attract employees to companies in the UAE are salaries, job security, and work-life balance. To attract and retain top talent, companies in the UAE must be able to compete with their compensation benefits and include a positive work environment promoting work-life balance and professional development.

Due to the rise of new industries and the increasing demand for specialized skills, the competition for talent in the UAE is intense. HR professionals must be able to identify and attract top talents while retaining existing employees through efficacy and developmental programs.

2. Embracing New Technologies

As per the PwC report, the use of AI in HR is expected to proliferate shortly. The HR field has become even stronger with applications such as chatbots and predictive analytics. These technologies help the HR team automate routine tasks and improve decision-making accuracy, allowing them to focus on other strategic activities.

With a high pace of technological advancements, HR professionals are promptly forced to stay up-to-date with the latest tools and trends. This includes AI and ML integration, data analytics, and digital HR tools that improve efficiency and accuracy.

3. Improving Employee Experience

With companies recognizing the importance of creating a positive work environment and HR professionals focusing on improving the employee experience, the significance of acquiring and retaining talent has topped the list. This includes, promoting work-life balance, creating diverse cultures & inclusivity and providing innumerable opportunities through learning and development in UAE.

According to a survey by Mercer, the largest HR consulting firm in the UAE, employee engagement’s top drivers are career opportunities, leadership, and work-life balance.

To improve employee experience, companies in the UAE must be able to provide career advancements to all the employees of each organization.

It is long working hours that are reshaping the workforce in the UAE. HR teams can promote balance in many industries through policies that encourage work-life balance. This could include flexible working hours, paid time off, and encouraging other activities, leading to job satisfaction and, ultimately, higher employee retention.

4. Diversity and Initiatives

Diversity and inclusion are also crucial to HR in the UAE. The UAE is home to over 200 nationalities, and HR managers in different organizations can understand the importance of creating a welcoming workplace. Companies in the UAE are implementing diversity and policies that ensure no barriers to career progression between men and women, regardless of their background and nationality.

Looking ahead, the future of human resource in UAE is promising. Artificial intelligence in HR is expected to increase, providing valuable data insights and streamlining the HR process automatically. Additionally, HR managers must be prepared to increase the globally dispersed workforce, focusing on cultural awareness and sensitivity.

5. Employee Benefits

Employee benefits are considered very important in the UAE. Training and development programs for employees are critical components of HR practices in every organization in the UAE. Numerous companies significantly invest in programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of their workforce, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction. These initiatives create pathways for career advancement, increase employee retention, and reduce layoffs.

Employment Laws & Investment in HR Industry – UAE:

Investment in the HR industry in the UAE has been increasing in recent years as companies recognize the importance of growing HR practices for business growth and the success of organizations. UAE research practices have been shaping HR practices and transforming the workforce. According to a recent report by GulfTalent, UAE employers have increased their investment in HR technology by 37% from last year. This shows that companies in the UAE are focusing on HR technology and investing heavily to improve the country’s HR practices.

The UAE has stringent employment laws that protect the rights of employees, and all working individuals must adhere to them in every way possible. The UAE Labour Law governs all aspects of the employment relationship, including the minimum working age, working hours, leave entitlements, terminations and probations, and notice periods. Employers in the UAE must comply with these laws, and HR managers play a crucial role in ensuring that the organizations comply with all the rules.


Finally, HR can shape the workforce in the UAE by creating a culture of innovation. With the focus on becoming a hub for innovation, the HR team needs to promote a culture of creativity and experimentation. This is only possible when employees have opportunities to brainstorm and collaborate, encouraging risk-taking and rewarding innovative ideas. By doing so, HR helps create an agile, creative, and innovative workforce.

In conclusion, shaping the UAE’s HR industry is critical to transforming the workforce. HR can play a significant role in creating a culture of continuous learning, promoting diversity and inclusion, encouraging work-life balance, and fostering a unique culture of innovation. This way, HR can help create a dynamic, diverse, and equipped workforce that thrives amid rapidly increasing employment opportunities.

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