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11 October, 2005

RAK heavy heroes

RAK boys are doing the UAE proud - kickstarting emiratisation properly by training up for manual jobs. Twenty national men are being employed by a cement factory as loaders, technicians, and heavy equipment drivers:

The 20 or so employees who have departed from the norm have only the National Secondary School Certificate by way qualification. They had remained unemployed for a long time because they were not qualified enough to take on administrative or technical positions.

"But we succeeded in bringing about a change in their attitude towards employment, and we hope that they would in turn take the message to fellow nationals," said Ali bin Selman.


Pay is Dh2,000-2,500 for the training stage, rising to Dh4,500-5,500 on qualification. Modest by general Emirati expectations, it's still a sky-high wage for an expat manual worker. Government subsidies seem likely if this project is extended UAE-wide.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous NT 66 said...

Definately a step in the right direction.

Our neighbours the Omanis have been known to be hard workers either has highly paid executives or more modest taxi drivers. Yet here in the Emirates to call someone a taxi driver is akin to an insult!

Work is work and it's a duty for all. No economy can sustain maintaining a whole workforce of 'directors' just to satisfy certain unachievable targets.

This shows a shift in culture which is a promising sign. It's not a shame to work in a manual job. Hopefully this shows that certain attitudes are finally maturing in an area that money talks louder than common-sense.

11 October, 2005 02:22  
Blogger black feline said...

and that's where the VAT comes in handy for the subsidies...rob peter to pay paul..lol...it's inevitable..visit Carrefour..the counters are full of locals..dont underestimate the policy makers here..they have fantastic helicopter view..way to go!

11 October, 2005 06:58  
Blogger moryarti said...

I modestly think media (especially Arab media) should stop sensationalizing UAE nationals getting "blue collar" jobs!

OK, media should discuss the need to get nationals trained, educated and everything; but really shouldn't make a cover story on a national just for him taking a job in a factory or something.

What kind of message is that giving? (OH, look at the poor national what he had to give up to get a job like this).

Gone are the days when every national expected to get a desk-job after graduation. That was in the 80s and 90s.

All my friends (the emaratis) realize that and work on themselves to get better through training, going to better schools, working for MNCs...etc

Media plays a major part in creating perceptions and shaping public opinion. By making a big fuss on nationals getting handyman jobs, that gives the rest of the community a perception that "IT IS ACTUALLY A BIG DEAL" while its not.

It was a big deal maybe 10 years ago ... but now, its a new generation with a new mindset, hence new rules of engagement.

11 October, 2005 07:58  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

so what if locals have started doing normal jobs? it's about time and they shouldn't be made to feel self conscious about it.

the sarcasm is too easily read as a cheap shot at the wrong people.

11 October, 2005 09:39  
Blogger ReginaFilangee said...

i have to say, i was really surprised to see a local checking my things through in carrefour, but it's certainly a step in the right direction to drive equality.

11 October, 2005 10:16  
Blogger The Devil's Advocate said...

Moryarti:

You are wrong. I don't know what it's like for other emirates and cities, but on AD Island it's still quite a big deal that Emiratis are taking manual labour jobs.

It is important that these taboos that are being broken are publicised so that parents (who are usually the ones that perpetuate these ideas) and peers of people entering or attempting to enter similar positions are more supportive and less critical or judgemental of an the individuals decision.

11 October, 2005 11:18  
Blogger moryarti said...

publicizing is something and sensationalizing is something else - plz don't quote me out of context here. My point is the media reporting the story, not the story itself. I leave that for the nationals to discuss..

11 October, 2005 11:44  
Blogger Emirati said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11 October, 2005 11:54  
Blogger Emirati said...

No Advocate believe it or not many locals are currently engaged in technician labour (CDC), i know some that work in carrefour i know of some that work in factories and car shopso in mussafah, I even know one that is a foreman in a construction site. It is becoming pretty normal to be engaged in regular technician level work, the society is totally changing after the end of the 'strawberry years' of the 90s.

11 October, 2005 11:57  
Anonymous The Rakster said...

With 8% unemployment among national men and 20% unemployment among national women, this is a start at reducing the first figure and should be applauded. However, with 45% of nationals currently under 15, this is going to have to become a daily occurance, uncommented on in the newspapers. Also, manufacturing companies may have to start considering employing national women on assembly lines, rather than depending on the flow of cheap, easily disposable labour.

11 October, 2005 13:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rakster said "manufacturing companies may have to start considering employing national women on assembly lines, rather than depending on the flow of cheap, easily disposable labour"


a question..........

won't this mean in turn, higher salaries ,which transalates to higher costs, which in turn increases the price of the product, which finally makes it uncompetitive?

as i've said in numerous earlier posts, Dubai's USP was its competitive edge over the rest of the countries in the region . That seems to be quickly dissappearing. if not dissappeared altogether. for a fact, i know a few multinationals which are looking around in the region to shift headquarters...

11 October, 2005 13:52  
Anonymous the rakster said...

It's a bit of a Catch 22, isn't it. You have the money, the health and the time to produce huge families because much of the work is done by cheap foreigners, and yet you need to provide work for all the kiddies from those huge families and there is a limit to how many you can shoehorn into the public sector. Still, as long as the oil is flowing and the price is high, this can be offset, but what to do with this multitude of national youth that reaches the age of employment each year?

11 October, 2005 16:38  
Anonymous Muk said...

the point of work u have realize people is feeding a family first, if you don't need to feed your family or support anyone...work should never be about salary...i am only 21 and understand this...90% of the world is full of people who think work is about money...how wrong you all are! if an emirati or indian from a wealthy family wants to be a mechanic so be it! work shouldnt be a chore, it should be something you love...afterall most of our lives we are working! when a man or woman passes away their citibank account doesnt go with them! this comment is a reality check for you money hungry fools who know who u are!

11 October, 2005 17:12  
Blogger muscati said...

Bloody hell, 4500 dirhams for manual laborer?!

Yes Omanis work manual jobs but not for that kind of pay. If you pay people 4500 dirhams for manual labor then you're setting a baseline for that kind of work and you're encouraging those who get better jobs not to take anything less than 6500+. Here in Oman these days college graduates are lucky if they can get jobs in the 5000 dirhams range and those without degrees who end up working as drivers or even laborers can get as low as 850 dirhams if the don't have a highschool diploma and usually around 1200 if they do.

11 October, 2005 20:10  
Blogger Emirati said...

its very expensive to keep a family here. of course salaries have to be raised. 5000 dhs is equivalent of 1000 Euros, something approximate to what someone in say europe would be earning for the same job.

11 October, 2005 22:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muscati,
Having lived and worked in both Oman and Dubai, I think it's not really fair to do a direct comparison of salaries. Rents in Oman are far far lower than in Dubai, and so is taxi travel. Think of all the shared taxis and "baiza buses".

Generally cost of living is much lower - or rather - it can be much lower.

This doesn't mean I don't agree with your point, just that I think the illustration of it is slightly faulty.

11 October, 2005 22:51  
Blogger sandsOfTime said...

Honestly it is about time. There is alot of talent and untapped potential among UAE nationals which has been wasted and left to rot. Case in point, one of my friends was a genius at computers. After he graduated abroad and returned to the UAE, he couldn't find a job for almost six months. He finally found a job at Internet City and was paid a paltry amount. He was so furious that he left the country. He now works at Microsoft in Redmond Washington and gets paid eight times what he was offered here, and he is not coming back. Another case I have heard of is of a UAE national who set up shop In South Korea because the UAE simply did not have the necessary manpower for sophisticated electronic Engineering. The sad truth is we have lost our best and brightest among nationals because the economy is built around expoiting cheap imported labor.

Dubai's strength was in the availability of cheap labor accompanied by good infrastructure. What is the point of cheap labor when everything else is now expensive? You can only squeeze cheap labor so much before it backfires. Which is why employing nationals in these positions becomes so important, you cannot deport them , and they don't have the East Asian resignation towards mistreatment. Increasing the cost of labor will force companies to be more efficient instead of just throwing disposable labor at the problem.

12 October, 2005 00:39  
Blogger black feline said...

and may i add...breaking into the private sector will be good for them to interact with the rest of the world..and for the latter to underdstand them better..i think for too long the emiratis are keeping to themselves..causing unnecessary misunderstanding..

12 October, 2005 08:26  

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