What is Nafis and How Can it Help Nationals?

  • November 16, 2023
  • 05:15 Minutes


Nafis is a UAE Program aims to boost the employability and competitiveness of Emirati citizens. As part of the ‘Projects of the 50’, it has a specific goal of creating ample job opportunities for Emiratis in the private sector within the next five years. The UAE government is always keen on bringing prosperity and growth to the nation through offering support to Emirati citizens.

This blog post explains the program and how it can help Emirati talents by supporting their career growth.

What is The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Program?

The Emirati Talent Competitiveness program “ Nafis “ is a government-led initiative to empower Emirati nationals to develop global-level competencies and pursue their careers in the private sector.

This program offers financial incentives to encourage the private sector to provide employment opportunities for Emirati graduates and professionals, contributing to the overall development of the UAE.

The program is available to all Emirati nationals aged 18 and above, and they can register for the program from its official website. This platform provides job search, training opportunities, also, the program applications are accessible via UAE Pass. Specific eligibility criteria apply.

Under this program, the government incentivizes and provides financial support to private companies that support Emirati nationals to become skilled professionals. Also declared ‘The Nafis Award’ for 2022-23 to recognize companies helping Emirati nationals grow.

How Can Nafis Help Emirati Talents?

The program is designed to cater to Emirati talent in terms of career development where they can learn, upskill, get trained, and get jobs in the private sector. Let’s see how the program helps you as an Emirati national.

Enhance Emirati Talent Competitiveness

The Emirati Talent Competitiveness program empowers Emiratis with skills and knowledge to excel in various career paths. It offers comprehensive training, mentorship, and practical skills to help individuals realize their potential.

Emirati Talent Upskilling Opportunities

With a strong emphasis on upskilling, the program empowers Emirati professionals by providing opportunities for continuous growth and development, ensuring they remain at the forefront of their fields.

Career Empowerment for Emiratis

The program is committed to empowering Emiratis, offering many resources and support to help them navigate their career paths and achieve their professional goals. The government aims to provide financial benefits under various schemes initiated under Phase 1. Emirati nationals can receive these benefits in the specific Nafis prepaid card issued by the First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Equality in the Employment

One of the core objectives of the Program is to promote equality in employment, ensuring that Emiratis have equal opportunities within the private sector, thereby breaking down barriers and expanding career horizons.

Professional Mentoring and Coaching

It also extends a helping hand to Emiratis through professional mentoring and coaching, enabling them to gain valuable insights and guidance as they progress in their careers.

Competencies for the Private Sector

The program not only enhances the competencies of Emiratis but also contributes to the private sector by nurturing a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, strengthening the foundations of the nation’s economic and national development.

Nafis Program Benefits

Let’s look at the government schemes under the program which are divided into two phases.

Phase 1 Schemes

  • Emirati Salary Support Scheme: The Emirati Salary Support Scheme provides additional financial support to Emirati professionals working in the private sector, ensuring they can achieve their desired salaries beyond what companies offer, subject to certain limits based on roles, compensation, and industries.
  • Child Allowance Scheme: The Child Allowance Scheme offers financial support to Emirati professionals in the private sector who have children and earn a salary below AED 50,000, providing AED 600 for each of their up to four children under 21, representing the government’s historic assistance to families.
  • Pension Program: Under the Pension Program Scheme, Emirati professionals are eligible for a pension to plan for their retirement. Private sector companies must register Emirati employees with the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA), contributing 5% of their salaries to the pension fund, with an additional 2.5% from the government.
  • Job Offers: The Job Offers program creates a unified platform for posting job opportunities for Emiratis in the private sector, helping unemployed nationals find suitable employment opportunities.
  • Unemployment Benefit: The Unemployment Benefit serves as a safety net for Emiratis who lose their jobs in the private sector for reasons beyond their control, providing financial support, including AED 7,000 for professionals, AED 4,500 for unemployed spouses, and up to AED 3,000 for children, subject to specific terms and conditions.

Phase 2 Schemes

  • Apprentice Program: The Apprentice Program connects Emirati graduates with apprenticeships in private companies, providing work experience and financial incentives for companies supporting the expertise of graduates.
  • Talent Program: The Talent Program offers Emirati nationals in the private sector the opportunity to enhance their skills through training and international certifications in collaboration with institutions like Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy and Center for Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT).
  • Vocational Counseling Program: Our Vocational Counseling Program offers career guidance, counseling, and tips on essential aspects like CV writing, interviewing techniques, and work ethics to help individuals make informed choices about their professional journey.
  • National Healthcare Program: The National Healthcare Program aims to train and empower Emirati healthcare professionals, focusing on nursing. Its goal is to develop a skilled and competent healthcare workforce by nurturing 10,000 citizens over the next five years.

Penalties For Misuse of the Program

In response to the misuse of the The Emirati Talent Competitiveness program, the government has implemented strict measures and penalties.

  • Starting June 2023, private companies failing to meet their Emiratisation quotas will be fined AED 6,000 for each unfulfilled Emirati employment position.
  • Companies with 50 or more employees must annually increase their Emiratisation percentage by 2%.

Thus, the program focuses on adequately using the program for the overall benefit of Emirati talent.

Way Forward

The Nafis Program underlines the UAE’s relentless commitment to building a highly skilled and competitive workforce while enhancing the vitality of its private sector. They hold immense promise for Emirati citizens and play a significant role in advancing the nation’s broader economic development agenda.

Link Your Card with the Payit App

Linking your Nafis card with the Payit app in a few easy steps (provided below) and enjoy the smooth managing of your payments more efficiently.

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