Property Push

Emirati brokers to sell up to 15% of units in Dubai amid GCC localization push

A program for "Emiratization" in real estate is starting with nine of the UAE’s biggest property developers

More Emiratis will qualify to work in the property sector in Dubai under new localisation measures. (Photo: Getty Images)

Emiratis will not be left out of the real estate boom underway in Dubai under new localization rules rolled out over the weekend.

A tie-up with nine of the UAE’s biggest property developers — including Emaar, Deyaar, and Sobha Realty — and the Dubai Land Department will seek to have 10 to 15% of units sold by Emirati brokers.

The next phase of the program will look to establish partnerships with developers and real estate brokers so that more Emiratis can qualify to work in the property sector, according to the land regulatory agency.

The push to increase the employment of citizens in the private sector is a delicate balance in the GCC region, where expat workers are heavily relied upon and nearly 90% of non-government entities are small-to-medium sized.

Governments have been taking incremental steps to support “localization” efforts including quotas, incentives for firms that comply and hefty fines for those that don’t.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources has set a target of employing 30% Saudis in the private sector by 2025 and is on track with 23% as of the first quarter of 2022. Oman has set a 40% target under its Vision 2040 economic diversification plan, and was at the halfway point in 2021.

The UAE expanded the scope of its “Emiratization” push at the start of the year – prompting the more than 12,000 companies in the country with 20 to 49 employees to employ at least one UAE citizen in 2024 and a second in 2025.

Companies with 50 or more employees are required to achieve a 2% annual growth in Emiratization.

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