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UAE’s New Diversity Quota in Work Permits: A Step Towards Inclusivity

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UAE Implements 20% Diversity Quota for Work Permits in Companies

Ensuring Cultural and Demographic Diversity in the Workplace

The United Arab Emirates has introduced a groundbreaking rule to enhance workplace diversity. This new mandate requires companies to allocate at least 20% of their work permits to individuals of varied nationalities, emphasizing the country’s commitment to cultural inclusivity.

A Policy Not Bound by Nationality

This diversity quota is unique in that it is not tied to any specific nationality. The principle behind this regulation is to promote a blend of different cultures within the UAE’s workforce. This move is expected to enrich the work environment, bringing diverse perspectives and experiences to the forefront.

The Mechanism of Implementation

The rule functions as follows: for every five work permits issued by a company, at least one should be allocated to an employee of a different nationality. This stipulation aims to prevent workforce homogeneity and encourage companies to broaden their hiring scope.

The Role of Company Classification

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) plays a critical role in this initiative. The MOHRE’s company classification system, which categorizes establishments into three tiers, is instrumental in implementing the diversity quota. Companies failing to meet the diversity criteria could face a downgrade in their classification, leading to increased work permit costs. Conversely, those adhering to the quota could benefit from lower costs, providing a financial incentive to embrace diversity.

The Process and Impact

The application process for work permits now includes a check for compliance with the diversity quota. This procedure ensures that companies are consistently reminded of the importance of cultural and demographic diversity. The policy is expected to have far-reaching effects, fostering an inclusive workplace environment that mirrors the UAE’s multicultural fabric.


This new rule is a significant step in the UAE’s journey towards creating a more inclusive and diverse society. It not only enhances the cultural richness of the workforce but also aligns with the nation’s vision of being a global hub for talent and innovation.

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