GNcareers, from Gulf News

Emirati employees can help private sector with govt contracts

Employing Emiratis in senior management position can be useful to private companies looking to develop and maintain commercial relationships with governmental departments, an Emirates executive has said.

Abdullah Al Hashimi, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President — Group Security, said in an interview this week hiring Emiratis has helped Emirates Group subsidiary, Transguard, in maintaining contracts with the government.

''It's opened a lot of doors for us,'' Al Hashimi, who is also Chief Executive of Transguard and an Emirati, told Gulf News at the Transguard offices at the Dubai Airport Freezone (Dafza).

Transguard is a Dubai-based services firm that provides security, facilities management, human resource and other services to companies and government entities and departments in the United Arab Emirates. Al Hashimi said it can be easier to manage government contracts if the relationship is handled by an Emirati.

''It's easier to bring nationals to talk to them (the government). [It is] better than expats, they (the government) will understand easier,'' he said.

Private and publicly companies in the UAE are encouraged to preference employing Emirati's under a government nationalization policy called ''Emiratisation.''

Emiratis account for around 10 to 15 per cent of the countries population of around 9 million, that is dominated by low and high skilled expatriate workers. But there is also a perception in the UAE, as well as other Gulf states, that nationals prefer to work in the public sector where they are offered larger salaries, shorter hours and more holidays. The private sector has long complained their inability to match remuneration in the public sector as their biggest challenge in attracting Emiratis.

But John Nolan, Managing Director of Transguard, said it is ''reasonably easy,'' adding that the key is supporting the applicant and hiring them for a position they are right for.

''We think its something we can do,'' he said.

Al Hashimi and Nolan did not say how many Emiratis Transguard currently employs. However, the company is currently completing a strategic review for the next five years that will outline an Emirati employment target. The review will be submitted to its shareholder at the end of this year or early 2016.

Transguard currently employs 42,000 people, Nolan said, many in services positions such as facilities management and as security guards.

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Source: Alexander Cornwell, Staff Reporter,