Saturday, February 21, 2009

UAE Labour Ministry believes its own PR: New law will supposedly help Emirati to get work!

In a laughable and rather Orwellian press release yesterday, Mrs. Feddah Lootah, the acting director general of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia), insisted the new law - making it even more impossible to fire Emiratis in private UAE companies - will increase Emiratis employability.

Debate over impact of Emirati job protection
February 20. 2009 9:30AM UAE / February 20. 2009 5:30AM GMT

Private-sector companies are more likely to employ Emiratis because of a new government policy that protects them from being laid off, a labour official said yesterday to counter claims to the contrary.

Feddah Lootah, the acting director general of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia), said Emiratis would feel more secure in their jobs knowing they cannot be laid off. As a result, they will “increase their productivity, performance and loyalty”. Companies will become aware of that trend and will recruit more Emiratis, she said.

Mrs. Feddah Lootah, the acting director general of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia), demonstrating how a protected job ensures increased performance.

Yeah, right. I'm sure everyone agrees with her that making someone unsackable makes them work harder and improves their productivity... That's why Government civil servants the world over are well known for being so hard working and productive I guess.

She clearly doesn't really understand the question, and in her reply simply emphasises that the law is the law:

...Responding to a question if Tanmia was worried if the new rule will make private companies shy away from employing Emiratis, Lootah said that “companies need to remember that there are Cabinet decisions that have enforced Emiratisation quotas and these rules must be respected and followed”. ...

It seems the comments around the UAE Business community that pointed out the obvious stupidity of the new law, in terms of actually contributing positively to the long term employment of locals in the UAE, were getting to be too much. IE:

In contrast, some business owners and analysts have described the guidelines, announced on Wednesday by the Ministry of Labour, as “counterproductive” and “inflexible”.

Paul Dyer, a research associate at the Dubai School of Government, who specialises in labour policy, said the new rules were “a worrisome precedent” that may serve as a disincentive to be productive.

“This kind of legislation sends strong signals to those who are not motivated from within, that they do not have to put much effort to keep their jobs, and therefore, reinforces a cycle that already exists within private businesses of not hiring Emiratis,” he said. “Hence, firms will resist much more than in the past from hiring Emiratis.”

"Now companies will think twice before hiring UAE nationals," said Hamed Buamim, Director General of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

"Any ruling imposing regulations on the private sector will have a negative effect on businesses. Companies will be more cautious in employing Emiratis. Such decisions might discourage employers from employing UAE nationals and encourage Emiratis not to give their best," he said.

Thus, the PR campaign to tell everyone how great a law it is has been started. Ever reliable UAE Government defender Gulf News even printed the following headline to help, even though the article itself clearly reinforces the notion that many in the private sector think it will reduce Emirati attractiveness as employees.

Private sector backs decision to regulate sacking of Emiratis
By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
Published: February 20, 2009, 18:15

Dubai: The private sector backed the decision to regulate the sacking of Emiratis, announced by the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday, but some warned that it could discourage employers from hiring Emiratis.

The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) said earlier that employers will think twice before sacking UAE nationals following the decision.

And they'll think 3 times before hiring another one, I'll tell ya.

Interested readers can find comments a plenty about this issue on the previous post.


  1. I totally agree with Mr. Dyer, if I come to know that no one, whomsoever s/he might be cannot sack me, I'll be laid back in terms of achieving corporate objectives. I'll be another run of the mill employee. I think the government doesn't want extraordinary human resource, they want mules.

    It is against human psychology to struggle for something until they are not motivated/forced.

    I think the people need to go through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that's taught in Management 101.

  2. Please our beloved expats. stop commenting here, as the you were blown away in the previous discussion on the same topic :)

    From your beloved winner Mr. T

  3. I'm beginning to think that the Emiratis have secretly given up the ghost and are now just trying to play with our minds, knowing that nothing is going to save the situation anyway...

  4. Emeratis have been Omanised ;-)!

    In the long term the country suffers.

  5. I hate it when a woman in power is so stupid....or maybe she isn't? Maybe this whole thing is some plot so that SHE can keep HER job intact? Maybe she is smarter than us all.

  6. That sounds like Thatcher in drag!...could be the Amber that I know and like too;-)

  7. Hey Gang, lets face it, Omanis and Ex-pats are different. Each has their own goals, work ethics, outlooks on life, and so forth. Each group has their own strengths and weakness. What is being discussed is the Omani viewpoint.

    One thing I have learned as an ex-pat spending many years in Oman, most Omanis are very adverse to taking risk. I don't say it is good or bad, only an observable fact. Many Omanis have told me they would never work for a western company, because of the lack of job security. Maybe, just maybe Omanis would work better, and take some risk, knowing their job was more secure.

    Much of it depends on if you do your best at your job because you are self-motivated and want to get things done, or you do your best because you fear getting fired if you don't.

  8. True-ish but of all the ArabStates Oman has the better educated and dare I say it, most adventurous. Many Omani's study abroad, especially UK. That may seem normal for us but it is a big step, so credit to them. The Omani's who do work hard to gain a good education by studying abroad should be welcomed and encouraged to progress here in their own country.

    Having said that even in UK there are Graduates who sit back and take it easy once thay have gained degree!

  9. In other news, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

    -Omani in US

  10. They just consider the private sector an extended government entity !!

    Its just the burden that come with not having to pay taxes !

  11. Governments can do whatever they want, hire or fire, so all has to make their minds that our jobs are not secured and we dont know when we would be asked to stay at home.

    Hope financial crisis are away from us... cheers, hardrock.

  12. Looks like I must retract my statement about Omanis being adverse to risk taking. This is an excerpt from an article I just read in Zawya- a UAE publication.

    * According to Bhacker, the rise in (Oman)traffic accident related deaths in the first 44 days of 2009 was 20 per cent compared to 2008.

    Statistics recently issued by the Royal Oman Police reveal that 951 men, women and children lost their lives at the scene of crashes and 10,558 were injured in 7,982 crashes in 2008.

    "This represents a phenomenal 30 deaths per 100,000 populations, one of the highest in the world," ....

    ... most of these deaths are preventable. "These are the result of speed, machismo and poor driving skills." *

    I know it is not only Omanis who have died, but I believe it is the Omanis who predominately take the risks while driving.

  13. Whilst Bhacker has information mainly in Oman I have it worldwide. This is Oman's shame and could be EASILY preventable but reasons that defy logic prevent it such as Omanisation and culture!

    Even at PDO where last year they recorded their highest ever accident rate in their history and were summoned to the Hague like naughty schoolboys, little progress has been made. PDO employs square pegs in round holes (HSE 'experts' in charge of road safety) 2 completely different animals. Now as the ROP twiddle their thumbs and will try (again and again) do solve thgis in-house PDO have contracted inexperienced Brits and Omanis of doubtful reputation who are financially motivated(I have the evidence) so I'm not optimistic about the future.

    This should be front page news, sometimes it is in a watered down version of The Week but nothing in the Arabic versions.

    I blame the likes of Essa of the Times who is too busy solving the worlds evils and having a go at Israel to see the carnage in his own country and adopt Ostrich mode!

  14. Lets get one thing straight. It would not be possible for the human race to evolve and progress without risk taking. Risk is a natural part of every day life. Where it is unnaceptable is risk that is not calculated or evaluated. Crossing a river with Crocs, some have learned when and where ...etc but driving a car having had very poor training, innefective testing (those hwo took a test and not the brown envelope route)then no further training are high risk.

    I've seen Omani's take PDO driving assessments who are lethal, they should never have got anyhwere near a vehicle but they pass!!!!

    It's yopur country and by protecting your own and 'giving' them licences you devalue your country and life it's self!

    FACT - over 90% of accidents are caused by Omani's!
    Over 96% of all deaths and injuries are Omanis.

    If you do nothing you are doing something....something that is a disgrace and embarrassment to your country.

  15. I agree with the accident issue with Omanis,I think the Driving Licence is being given on what is called (Wasta)so that is the reason of accidents, I think Royal Omani Police has to do something with this, We dont care if we dont get driving licence even after 100 times trying , ,, but WASTA should be stoped in DL. cheers,,, HardRock..

  16. We all know about wasta but what some don't know is basic incompetence.

    Every 3 days a child dies in Omans roads...that child is an Omani. One would think that would be motivation enough but evertime I go out on the road it is an Omani who jumps the lights, cuts up, driving down the hard shoulder, takes the wrong lane (deliberately)...they don't care because they are not aware and they are not aware because those who govern do not want it published..."there are none so blind as those who do not wish to see"!

  17. everything is being published regarding accidents we are not hidding anything. You can not only blame omanis but there are other nationalities also involoved in the accidents.

    cheers. Hardrock

  18. tell it like s. I blame Omanis because they are the ones' who flout the laws, get licences too easily, get away with committing offences and drive appaullingly.

    You accept the praise heaped upon you so you accept the critisism as well. The nature of this country is you are wrapped in cotton wool and shocked when a critisism is made.

    Take a look around you, do you see what I see?

  19. We are open minded and open heart people we accept criticism if it is based on realties, that is why I said (WASTA) has to be stopped and I tell you there are some expairtes who drives on the roads like that they owns the roads only without feeling the people behind them specially when you are in hurry they don’t know how to drive and still have the licence, that is why I said (Wasta Or Bribery) has to be Stopped in Oman in the cases of DL specially.

    Yes I see the same what you see but we have to be positive on both sides they we can see the same.

    Cheers, hard rock

  20. off the mark. Yes wasta is a problem but to the Omani who is right up my arse because he's been taught to do that, will never change. To the Omani who can't park a car properly so their aint enough spaces, to the Omani who's perpetually impatient.

    I had a 24 hour rolling video in my car, the result was it picked up every thing in and out of the car. It wasn't even 99% it was 100% Omani's!

    I can't see that changing as the kids sit in the car with no seatbelts (B. Bhacker has tried) but they refuse to belt up their kids...the kids who see their parents jump lights, get in the wrong lane whilst using their gsm!

    You have to want to do it and there simply isn't the will to do it.

    Thats my last word on the subject. I like a debate and good argumenty but you can't argue with facts.

  21. Devils Advocate:

    Give us solutions please. We know what the problem is, we need ideas and solutions and hopefully someone who can do something about it will act on your ideas.

    I can say that you seem to be an expert in the field of road safety, so please give us ideas. Thanks.

  22. Devils Advocate-

    QuoteFACT - over 90% of accidents are caused by Omani's!
    Over 96% of all deaths and injuries are Omanis.

    I would wager that roughly 90% of people driving in Oman are Omanis. So that's pretty logical, really. Secondly, a far more accurate statistic would take into account the total Kms driven per accident, broken down by nationality, age, income bracket, etc..

    You imply that Omanis are the sole source of problem, but fail to look further into the root causes,(Cultural fatalisim? Totally unqualified driving teachers? Roads and junctions designed by comittee? External cosmic forces?) or take account of the number of accidents caused by the proportionally small communities of drunk white guys, Terrified indian chaps in Nissan Sunnys, And Pakistanis driving huge lorries with questionable maintinance.

    It's not even a matter of giving lisences, since half the guys I know don't even have one. Hell I drove here without a valid Oman lisence for six years! Six! The issue needs to be enforcement, and educating the really young kids while thier behavior can be influenced.

    And the government could get off it's ass and actually do something, instead of worrying about dark window tint, Middel fingers, or if an expatriate can own a pickup truck. Like, How about safer roads, for a start? How about some ROP inforcement with heavy fines and jail time of the laws already in place to prevent traffic accidents.

    You single out PDO for criticisim, all the time, while failing to note that PDO has effectively set the standard for safety here in Oman with little or no support from the ROP or any other government authourity. The ROP, until recently, went so far as to prohibit PDO from conducting random Brethalyzers on thier own staff and contractors under the laughable excuse that "Omani's Don't Drink". No Joke.

    You won't find a stronger supporter than me for improvements in road safety, but you'll need a better argument.

  23. Suburban:

    You blew them away man, you brought some pretty good points, and hopefully someone will read your comments and take something useful from it to be implemented.

    I love your constructive criticism. Thanks

  24. Mr Abdullah,

    I have travelled the world giving advice on road safety (34 countries to include 10 Arabic countries) and Oman is the only one that does not want it. I deal with the ROPat Seeb and they are a good bunch who mean well, that will take time. But, the likes of PDO will not take advice and have never in their history employed a road safety / driver training expert, they only wanna get on the train if they can be the driver!
    Solution? Education. From schools, train the trainers with accredited training and have structured training and testing - that's a start.

    Read 'Thursday' magazine from the Times last week!!!!!!;-)

  25. I agree that we need more trainings and guidlines in Driving. Let us work on it.


  26. Hey gang Face it, we all know the facts.

    1) Saying expats are worse drivers than Omanis (or vice versa) is like saying shit smells worse than manure (or vice versa).

    2) The main problem is flagrant disregard of the driving rules.

    3) The only folks that can stop it are wearing ROP uniforms.

    4) In Oman you never criticize the ROP.

    I think the ROP does a great job with civil order and security in Oman, I feel more secure here than any place in the world. But what is the use of protecting me against a terrorist just to have a wild-ass young driver bash into my car? Killing me just as dead.

  27. Let us accept it, there are rude and rash drivers amongst Omanis as well as expats. Since it is their country may be number of rude Omanis are more in number.

    Generally expats are a scared lot and show their rudeness only with other expats and become gentlemen in front of Omanis.

    Licensing system is by and large good. But no system in the world is perfect, since after-all no human being is perfect.

    Bring the old rule back, wherein driving license was given only for selected positions and not every guy on the street.

    Instead of just putting radars ROP should keep a watch on

    1) Those driving holding a mobile in one hand and cigarette in other and fine them. It is common sight of people talking and driving dangerously.

    2) Keep close watch on "rude behaviour" and put fines for this as well. Creating road madness is a much more serious problem than over speeding.

    3) Strictly keep vigil on big truck drivers speeding like a car in the slow line and harassing the cars going slowly in the slow lane.

    4) Keep vigil and punish those who are honking the horn unnecessarily and leading to road madness and fights.

    5)If ROP really makes a campaign on the subject road rudeness can be easily reduced especially from expatriates because most of them are a scared lot and don't want to end up in police station and don't have the time for this.

    6) ROP should keep a team especially in CBD, Bank Muscat area and near the church where parking is hell of a problem and there daily fights.

    7) Lastly Municipality should improve infrastructure especially in places like CBD, Ruwi plaza area, Wadi Kabir road etc.

    If oil price is not improving the problem may be solved automatically because many expats will be forced to go back.

  28. One more thing ROP should put and end is people sticking dark coloured paper on window panes so that you you can't see the guy inside. It is this feeling of not being seen from outside that encourages rude behavior.

  29. Were going off in a wander here.

    As there is record accodents and deaths it therefore follows that many drivers are passing that shouldn't!

    There is no qualifying or monitoring process for becoming a driving instructor and unlike the UK where an instructor can be struck off the register for a poor pass rate Omanis thrive on it!

    As an ex-pat my role is to pass my skills onto Omanis to help this country progress; this is denied in this field but desparately needed.

    The Omanisation of driving and driving instruction is a serious contributing factor to the unnecessary road deaths.

    Driving into work today I see daddy Abdul with his seatbelt on and gsm in had coasting (not even jumping) through a red light with the baby Abduls dancing in the front and rear seats unbelted.

    Were not getting the message accross are we?

  30. was at an international road safety conference last year where I made a speech. I took two Omani friends. They had a laugh and when I asked them what they were laughing at they said...more Israilis are kiiled in RTA's that bombs and bullets! So the message is send them cars and pass certificates not bombs and let them wipe the selves out!

  31. Also, another interesting stat..more bodyguards are killed by vehicles that one who has trained security drivers and bodygurads I can testify that a lot of their specialist training is driver training!

  32. "If oil price is not improving the problem may be solved automatically because many expats will be forced to go back."

    Frikkn right ! Yeah, Omanis will be free to drive ( die ) as they see fit!

    Another thing nobody has mentioned : what's with the bus drivers ? They all seem to think they're driving ferarris... ( most of them are young men... ).

    As a previous poster said, education is the key, and with current driving instructors, it's the weakpoint, half the drivers I see with phones in hand are driving instructors, in those awful red and white striped toyota echo's.

    But, Oman is a young country still ( sort of, global recession, accelerated progress and all... ) The aforementioned awareness campaign needs to be implemented and loudly ( with revision of driving instructor training standards too, damn ).

    The best thing you can currently do is not just drive normally but also watch out for other drivers ( impending ) mistakes.

    Stay safe.

  33. Drove back yesterday with my family from a morning at the beach in Tiwi. Just past Oman Dive Centre I reached the top of one of these nice steep hills, just to find a car coming from the other side...on my side of the road! Huge crash of course. But we all (wife, 3 young children, my parents who were just over to meet our baby-girl) came out unharmed. Pure luck. Lots of people (yes, Omanis and expats), on the road who immediately and generously offered to help (thanks guys, that was really great!). But the Omani driver who caused all this with his utterly stupid action...didn't even ask how the family was doing, didn't apologize, nothing. Almost killed an entire family... but didn't seem to care at all. Saw him later leaving the police station in Muscat...driving another car as if nothing happened. Still can't believe it.

  34. That is the core of the whole issue. Total lack of guilty feeling.

    Dear A'dam very sorry to hear your story. Hope you and family have come out of the shock now. You are fortunate that nothing serious happened.

    Now starts another suffering. You will be forced to go the police station at least 4-5 times, because the other guy will not come to sign the report. Unless you know Arabic, you will not understand anything they tell you.

    When you go the insurance you will get shocked by small print and realise how the insurance companies here cheat you.

    Overall you will lose at least a month with police, insruance and the workshop guys, together. Unless you have another car you may feel like going back to your country.

    2 years ago, I was waiting for my turn near Supasave (star cinema) to enter the main Central bank of Oman road with infant daughter and wife in the rear side, an Omani came and dashed from back side. Being a new car I virtually cried seeing the damage, but this guy didn't even lower his dark glass. He told you can repair the car and I will pay you and he has to urgently go to airport. He was threatening to run over me. Somehow I managed to keep him there till the police came. My wife and child didn't want to stay in the hot sun, this guy threatened that they should not leave the car. There is a big need for change of attitude.

  35. Sdaly, these stories are all too common. This in no way dilutes your experience. It's situations like this that keep Oman in the backward past. I can tell you of how a family of 6 were killed at haima in an overtaking incident,many near the dive centre...loads and it will continue as they are not taught 'situation' control; overtaking, meeting, emerging but spend loads of times getting intmate with barrells!!!!

    I've said until I'm's getting worse and will continue to get worse whilst there is no credible accredited training. The ROP have tried but faced with so - called 'driving instructors' who weent on strike, they backed down. It's a job where any crap can do it als long as it;s an Omani, no training, no checking and a job for life nomatter how bad you are = high accident rates!


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