Fresh reports from Abu Dhabi suggest that the nation may be trimming down its numbers of expat employees in the face of unrest from unemployed nationals.
Abu Dhabi, along with the rest of the UAE, has long been a popular destination for skilled foreign workers to venture to. The UAE is popular for high salaries and low taxes, and despite the oil rich areas hardly being short of cash, new developments may be bringing the knife down on a number of expat positions.
As unemployment numbers rise among native Emirates citizens, both the citizens and the government are becoming alarmed, not only at the employment situation but also at the growing wave of foreigners that some feel are altering the fabric of the UAEs strong culture.
Cost-cutting has been cited as a reason for expat job cuts, but behind the scenes the real reason is believed to be a renewed drive for ‘Emiratisation’.
There have been a spate of protests from unemployed nationals who feel that too many expats are contributing to their difficulty in securing employment.
Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a politics lecturer at UAE University, told the Financial Times: “Security is paramount for this country. Unemployment has been a big part of the Arab uprisings and the government doesn’t want to take any chances.”