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Rachid Zeffane and Linzi Kemp

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) embarked on a very ambitious program of modernization, coupled with the need for major growth-driven business changes. Because of this and because of the small national population and the severe shortage of qualified local workforce, the UAE government was induced to adopt a more flexible immigration policy – hence allowing greater numbers of foreign workers into the country. These (the expatriates) now constitute the overwhelming majority of the workforce, with nationals being in the minority (Al-Waqfi and Forstenlechner, 2014). Also, amidst its move for modernization, the UAE government also embarked on an “Emiratization” initiative in both the public and private sectors, aimed at enhancing the employment of its citizens in a meaningful and efficient manner (AME Info, 2007). As a result, multiple governmental initiatives have been actively promoting Emiratization through training and institutionalized initiatives such as the establishment of “Tawteen UAE”; the “Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council”; “Emirates Foundation”; a “Centre for Emiratization Research & Development” (Emiratization Research Foundation, 2009).