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Are Emiratis more satisfied in private sector?


Sixty per cent report higher happiness levels, reveals survey.

November 13, 2013 2:55 by

UAE nationals working in the private sector report significantly higher levels of engagement (60 per cent) and satisfaction, compared with their counterparts in the public sector (34 per cent), according to new research, released on Tuesday, November 12.

The Qudurat report by Aon Hewitt highlights that the private sector in the UAE is making significant headway in terms of engaging national talent, despite the widely held perception that the public sector is the preferred employment route for Emiratis.

It further notes that Emiratis working in the private sector report notably higher satisfaction levels (59 per cent versus 36 per cent), confidence in leadership (48 per cent versus 36 per cent) and recognition within the organisation (67 per cent versus 49 per cent) when compared with those in the public sector.

Favourable working conditions and other benefits, such as job security, status and shorter working hours, in the public sector have traditionally been seen as key engagement factors for Emiratis. However, the findings show that 30 per cent are at a high risk of attrition, when compared with only 14 per cent in the private sector.

Dr. Markus Wiesner, CEO at Aon Hewitt Middle East, believes that the findings of the Qudurat report demonstrate a change in perception among nationals and that the private sector is “clearly doing something right” in terms of attracting and engaging them.

He adds: “Despite obvious progress in engaging nationals, there is still some way to go. For example, 42 per cent of Emiratis feel engaged in the workplace, when compared with Qatari nationals, who registered 51 per cent engagement levels. Both the corporate and political entities will exist to make nationalisation a reality, but the business community is lacking the tools to make it happen.”

While, overall employee engagement in the GCC region has decreased from 54 per cent in 2010 to 49.5 per cent in two years, engagement levels for expats have remained consistent at 57 per cent in 2010 and 56 per cent in 2012. According to the research, expats are the most engaged in Bahrain and Kuwait, followed by the UAE and Qatar. The lowest engagement levels among expats are seen in Saudi Arabia and Oman.

This study’s findings come on the back of the announcement by renowned UAE lawyer Habib Al Mulla, who helped draft a number of laws in the country, that Emiratisation’s efforts to reduce the “shocking” unemployment rate among nationals by imposing quotas on private sector firms have failed to make a dent.

“Imposing quotas is an easy solution to the problem of unemployment. However, it’s a temporary, impractical and deceiving solution,” he says.

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