IMPLICATION OF LARGELY EXPATRIATE WORKFORCE IN THE UAE 1

Table of Contents

Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………3

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Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..3

Aim of the research………………………………………………………………………………..3

Significance of the research……………………………………………………………………….3

Structure of the research…………………………………………………………………………..3

Factors that have led to the rise in expatriate workforce in the UAE……………………………..3

Implications of the large expatriate workforce in the UAE……………………………………….4

  • High quality of goods………………………………………………………………………4
  • Technical skills……………………………………………………………………………4
  • Change of employment culture…………………………………………………………….5
  • Economic development……………………………………………………………………5
  • Influence on culture……………………………………………………………………….6
  • Lack of employment. ……………………………………………………………………..6

Research Questions………………………………………………………………………………..6

Objective…………………………………………………………………………………………..6

Sub-objectives……………………………………………………………………………………..6

Research methodology…………………………………………………………………………….6

Data Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………7

Presentation of findings……………………………………………………………………………7

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………7

References…………………………………………………………………………………………9

Abstract

This study primarily focuses on the implications that a large number of expatriates has had on the UAE. The factors that have encouraged to a large number of expatriates have been discussed, and the implications have been analyzed. Information was obtained from different books. A research methodology has been developed and research questions set to guide in having a clear understanding of the study topic. A sample was also included in the study and data analysis has been included. Presentation of the gathered data is discussed, and a conclusion of the findings is also provided.

Introduction

Expatriates are people who reside in foreign countries for various reasons such as work either on a temporary or permanent basis. Many countries have attracted expatriates who work for their companies, and this has help to boost economic growth. The United Arabs Emirates (UAE) is one of the countries that host a large number of expatriates. This can be caused by the peace and stability witnessed in the country as well as the hospitable nature of the Emiratis. These characteristics attract many of tourists and investors to the country making it a preferred destination for many people worldwide. According to (Al-Waqfi and Forstenlechner, 2010), 99 percent of people working in private firms in the UAE are expatriates.

Aim of the research

The study will focus on understanding the implications that the large numbers of expatriates have had in the UAE. To understand this topic in detail, the positive and negative of the expatriates in the country will be analyzed.

Significance of the study

The study will enable learners to understand the various challenges and benefits that expatriates have caused in the UAE. It will also help to understand the factors that have led to the increase in the number of expatriates in the UAE. The study is also significant to organizations that conduct research on expatriates in the UAE, and they can use the information gathered as a guide for their studies.

Structure of the research

The research starts with an abstract and an introduction of the implications of a large expatriate workforce in the UAE. The aim and significance of the research are discussed followed by the factors that have led fostered a large number of expatriates in the country. Literature review also discusses the implications of a large number of expatriates in the UAE and the research questions, and methodology are also discussed. Data analysis and presentation of the findings are also included, and the last section contains the conclusion of the study.

Factors that have led to the rise in expatriate workforce in the UAE

The rise in the number of expatriates in the UAE can be attributed to the tax-free income that they are paid. Unlike in most countries around the world, tax is not charged in the UAE, and this attracts expatriates as they earn the whole amount they work for without any deduction. Lack of taxation also makes the cost of goods cheap as compared to their home country. Items in the UAE are said to be over 40 percent cheaper than in the home country of the expatriates. This makes it easy for them to own vehicles and electronic goods among others. The UAE experiences political stability, and this has attracted investors and expatriates from all over the world. A peaceful environment helps businesses to thrive, and the expatriates can work without fear of any political uprisings. The UAE government has invested in infrastructure, and this has also attracted investors and expatriates. Infrastructure in the country is properly designed and maintained with good roads and airports that make it easy for the expatriates to travel in and out of the country. Better working conditions, benefits and salary have also contributed to the rise in the number of expatriates in the UAE. Companies in the country offer a high salary for the employees as compared to what they would have earned in their home country. Unemployment is also a menace that is being experienced by many countries in the world, and the UAE has offered what many people term as a solution. Companies and businesses are set up regularly, and they require a competent workforce to work. This causes the expatriates to leave their countries and relocate to the UAE where they are assured of employment. Although Arabic is the common language spoken in the UAE, English is also widely spoken and understood by the locals, and this makes it easy to communicate. Meetings are also held in English, and this means that language barrier is not a challenge for expatriates who relocate to the country. Low cost of living can also be attributed to a large number of expatriates in the country. Most of the expatriates find the cost of living low in the UAE as compared to their home country. Rent prices are considerably low in the UAE, and the cost of products is not expensive.

Implications of the large expatriate workforce in the UAE

The various implications that a large number of expatriates in the UAE is as discussed below.

High quality of goods

The large expatriate population in the UAE has led to the increase in the quality of the workforce in companies. The expatriates are well educated and have diverse knowledge and skills that help them to perform their duties in an efficient manner. This in turn ensures that the goods and services given by the company are of high quality and appealing to the consumers (Vaiman & Haslberger, 2013). High-quality goods can also be exported to various countries around the world, and this will lead to the rise in profits gained by the companies. It also gives the companies a competitive edge against the companies that do not employ expatriates but prefer the locals. In most cases, the locals are not well educated, and their skills cannot match those of the expatriates.

Technical skills

Expatriates are professionals, and their skills benefit the companies they work for immensely. The expatriates transfer the skills they acquired in their home country, and this enables the company to perform tasks in a new and efficient manner. The new skills are transferred through numerous training sessions to ensure that all the employees understand how to perform different activities for the benefit of the companies. The new skills help companies to produce high-quality goods and also with the shortest time to ensure that they reach the desired market on time. Transferring of the skills ensures that the country has a high number of skilled laborers. Chinese expatriates in the UAE have introduced various technological skills to the country, and the Chinese mobile market has grown and developed in the country. The phones are cheaper, and they give the population a chance to own phones regardless of their income. The expatriates have also helped cultivate new business attitudes and ideas in the country. By staying in the country, they get to understand what is lacking, and they aim at providing it for the general population. For instance, an expat can study the transport sector in the country. Through the study, they will get to learn the challenges faced by commuters, and this will guide them in making an investment that will improve the sector. The expat can relate to how the transport system is where they come from and develop the sector based on what they already know. This can be done in partnership with the various transport organizations in the country or in private. The use of information technology (IT) has also risen, and expatriates are more conversant with its use. IT skills help businesses to transact business in an easy and efficient manner and can connect businesses to others across the world. Expatriates transfer these skills to other employees and this in turn ensures that tasks are performed in time with minimum or no error. The expatriates have also led to the increase in investors in the country as they offer skilled labor (International, 2013).

Change of employment culture

Before the expatriates started settling in the UAE, the workforce was dominated by men. Despite having the skills necessary to work in the companies, the role of the women was shunned, and they were given minor roles in companies. They were viewed as not competent enough to work in management positions, and this may have contributed to the slow development of companies in the country before the rise in the number of expatriates (Austin, Chapman, Farah, Wilson, & Ridge, 2014). The UAE has seen the rise in the number of female expatriates who have the skills and knowledge to manage companies efficiently. Most of them perform better than their male counterparts, and this has led to the change of attitude of women working in high positions. Women empowerment has also caused more women in the country to attend schools and attain their bachelors and masters degrees as they have equal opportunities at the workplace. Competition is also witnessed in the country the females try to outdo the males, and this has led to the increase in the performance of companies and has also led to the development of technical skills in the workplace. Employment and promotion in the UAE have also changed from gender-based. Companies look at the academic credentials and performance of an individual, and this has significantly led to the rise of the number of female employees that hold senior positions. The expatriates also help to change the employment culture in the country by educating people that they can set up their businesses to sustain a living. They offer entrepreneurship advice and in some instances own shares in the companies or businesses. This helps people to change the mentality that they must be employed to earn a decent living.

Economic development

The rise in the number of expatriates in the country has also led to the rapid growth and development of the country’s economy. Investors have invested heavily in the UAE by setting up multinational companies that have led to the country acquiring significant revenue. Trade has also increased between the country and other nations across the world as many people travel for long distances to purchase products such as vehicles, clothes, jeweler, and cars among others. The revenue collected is usually spent on developing different sectors in the country such as infrastructure.

Influence on culture

Although expatriates have contributed to the country’s development, they have also posed challenges such as westernization of the Emirati culture. The Emiratis have for a long time been strict about what they wear, their religion, and food. The expatriates have, however, influenced them to adopt new cultures (AlMazrouei & Pech, 2014). Most of them have adopted new dressing modes and have done away with the clothes that they should wear according to the Islamic culture.

Lack of employment

Expatriates occupy the high percentage of the number of employees in companies in the UAE because they are believed to possess the skills and knowledge that are necessary for the growth and development of companies. It is due to this that the locals lack employment opportunities in the companies because the skills they possess cannot be compared to those of the expatriates. This makes them take up minor jobs in the companies that do not pay much money.

Research Questions

What factors have led to the large number of expatriates in the UAE?

What are the positive implications of the expatriate workforce in the UAE?

What are the negative implications of the expatriate workforce in the UAE?

Objective

Growth and development of the country’s economy

Sub-objectives

Teaching new technical skills

Cultivating an investment culture in the nationals

Research methodology

The research is quantitative because the study focuses on a large number of expatriates who are present in the UAE. Simple random sampling was selected for this study, and the sample size consisted of 100 people of both genders and different nationalities. Both primary and secondary method of gathering data was conducted. This was effective in obtaining clear information about the topic being studied. Interviews and the use of questionnaires were implemented to gather the relevant data. Secondary data collection technique such as books, journals, articles, and reports were also used to provide more insight into the topic.

Data Analysis

QuestionsAgreeDisagreeNot Sure
Tax-free income, high salary, employment opportunities, and benefits have led to the increase of expatriates in the UAE  9433
  Political stability has contributed to the presence of a large number of expatriates in the UAE8983
The large number of expatriates has changed the workforce culture in the UAE  9127
Expatriates have helped in the growth of the country’s economy  9081
Expatriates have led to the development of technical skills among nationals  8983
Expatriates has changed the workforce culture among Emiratis9244

Presentation of findings

Most of the respondents agreed that a tax-free income, employment opportunities that offered a good salary and benefits led to the increase of expatriates in the country. Most of them stated that working in the UAE has also helped them in their career growth as there are many opportunities that they would not have experienced if they chose to work in their countries. Other said that they had searched for jobs in their home countries, and the UAE was the only place they could secure employment. Political stability was also a motivational factor for the expatriates in the UAE because it guaranteed job security and peace as they perform their duties. According to most of the expatriates, the workforce culture changed in the UAE because it allowed women to hold senior positions in companies that were initially designated for men. The majority of the respondents believe that if it were not for the expatriates, the economy of the country would not have grown. The expatriates offer technical skills and knowledge that are necessary for the growth of the companies that in turn offer the revenue required by the government to develop various sectors. Some people also noted that trade has improved in the country as people purchase products from various parts of the world.

Conclusion

It is evident that expatriates are important for the growth and development of a country. They lead to the growth of the economy as they have the relevant skills and knowledge required to manage a company. They also transfer the skills through training, and this ensures that everyone is aware of what is required of them and it in turn helps them to perform their duties efficiently. The expatriates also develop the investment attitude that allows people to set up and run their businesses, and this significantly helps in the growth of the country. For expatriates to choose a country, a good infrastructure that allows for easy travel and transportation is necessary. Political stability is also necessary as this will ensure that they can perform their roles in an efficient manner without the fear of politically-related challenges. The role of expatriates cannot, therefore, be ignored and countries should ensure that they offer a suitable environment for their existence to help in growth and development.

References

AlMazrouei, H. & Pech , R. J. (2014),”Expatriates in the UAE”, Journal of Business Strategy,

            35(3), 47-54

Al-Waqfi, M., & Forstenlechner, I. (2010). Stereotyping of citizens in an expatriate-dominated

            labour market: Implications for workforce localisation policy. Employee Relations, 32(4),

364-381.

Austin, A. E., Chapman, D. W., Farah, S., Wilson, E., & Ridge, N. (2014). Expatriate academic

staff in the United Arab Emirates: the nature of their work experiences in higher

education institutions. Higher Education, 68(4), 541-557.

International, B. P. I. (2013). How to invest, start and run profitable business in the united arab

emirates guide. S.l.: Intl Business Pubns Usa.

https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=JldwAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA75&dq=UAE+employm

ent&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=UAE%20employment&f=false

Vaiman, V., & Haslberger, A. (2013). Talent management of self-initiated expatriates: A

neglected source of global talent. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=aAu8Guq24i4C&pg=PA129&dq=expatriates+in+U

AE&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=expatriates%20in%20UAE&f=false

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