The UAE’s Nafis Program: Empowering Emiratis to work in the private sector


The Nafis program was launched in 2021 as part of the UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’ in order to empower Emiratis to work in the private sector of the country.

With the launch of the program, the UAE targeted creating 75,000 jobs in the private sector by 2025. This year, the UAE introduced the new Emiratisation rule in order to limit negative employment practices.

As per the new rule, any company caught carrying out fake Emiratisation to get Nafis benefits could face a fine. The fine can range between Dh20,000 and Dh100,000 for each bogus Emirati employee.

Financial benefits under the Nafis Program

Under the ‘NAFIS’ program, Emirati nationals can get benefits like the Emirati salary support scheme, child allowance scheme, unemployment benefit scheme for unemployed people, pension program, and on-the-job training support for employees in the private sector.

Emirati Salary Support Scheme

Under the ‘NAFIS’ program, the UAE would support the salaries of Emiratis wishing to work in training programs in the private sector under the Emirati Salary Support Scheme. Recently, the UAE also announced increasing the support for the salaries of Emiratis in the private sector.

Unemployment Benefit Scheme

Any unemployed Emirati nationals would receive financial assistance under the Unemployment Benefit Scheme. The financial support would be provided in the event of losing a job in the private sector for a period of six months.

Child Allowance Scheme

The child allowance would be given to Emirati nationals to support their child. This allowance would be given to up to four children under the Child Allowance Scheme. To get this benefit, their children must be below 21 years old and not employed or married.

Pension program

Under the pension program, the UAE aims to help Emirati employees and employers alike in their pension fund contributions. Reportedly, private companies with at least 50 employees must meet their 2% Emiratisation target before January 2023.

All private sector entities need to pay their pension contributions at the beginning of every month. People who earn less than AED 20,000 per month can get this benefit.

On-the-job Training Support

The Nafis provide vocational training programs in the private sector. Under this scheme, the Nafis would connect job seekers with related jobs. The UAE aims to support the salaries of Emiratis who select the training program.