Mansour bin Zayed launches Nafis Award to recognise Emiratis and private companies that excel in Emiratisation

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UAE government launches the Nafis Award on Monday to recognise private sector establishments that have excelled in hiring UAE nationals. Photo for illustrative purpose only
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Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Board of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council has launched the first cycle of ‘Nafis Award’ for the year 2022-2023.

The award aims to recognise private sector establishments that have excelled in hiring UAE nationals and fostered positive competition within the field of Emiratisation. The award also aims to recognise outstanding Emiratis in the private sector.

Nafis Award

The ‘Nafis Award’ has been introduced a year after the launch of “Nafis” programme, which was launched as part of the “Projects of the 50”, to be a driving force for the development of the national economy.

On the occasion, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed stressed the importance of the role played by Nafis during the first year since its launch in highlighting the benefits of working in the private sector while encouraging UAE nationals to seek professional opportunities within private establishments. This has contributed to strengthening their presence as an influential workforce as well as to the advancement of this vital sector and enhancing its role in progressing the economic development of the nation.

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Dreams and aspirations

Sheikh Mansour also affirmed that the leadership of the UAE considers its youth as the real wealth of the nation, and hence, aims to realise their dreams and aspirations, in addition to providing a decent life that suits them. He also indicated that the UAE government is keen on achieving the set goals of Emiratisation in the private sector and implementing the leadership’s directives by honouring establishments that have achieved Emiratisation targets, as well as distinguished Emirati talent in the private sector.

Step forward

Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said: “The award reflects the UAE leadership’s support for the success of Emiratisation policies and another step forward to boost the Emiratisation efforts in the private sector. The engagement of the private sector with Nafis and Emiratisation file is vital for the development journey of the UAE.”

“The award will encourage companies to increase Emiratisation rates, and on the other hand, it encourages UAE nationals to join the private sector and improve their skills and competence and contribute to consolidating the national economy,” he added.

Emirati talent

Ghannam Al Mazrouei, Secretary General of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, indicated that the ‘Nafis Award’, sponsored by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will highlight successful experiences in three main categories that align with the leadership’s aspirations and support the UAE’s efforts in empowering Emirati talent to fill job vacancies in the various sectors and fields of the private sector.

“The award is an appreciation for the private sector’s great efforts in achieving the Emiratisation targets. This, in turn, enables nationals to thrive and contribute to achieving economic growth. The award also highlights the successful experiences of UAE nationals working in the private sector, who were able to prove themselves as a vital and effective force, capable of bringing about positive change in various economic sectors,” he added.

Award categories

In collaboration with Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program, the council has ensured that the award categories, criteria, and evaluation mechanisms are in line with government directives and international best practices.

This step will guarantee governance over the evaluation process, promote the concepts of institutional and individual excellence in when it comes to the Emiratisation mandate and raising the performance of nationals within the various fields of the private sector. As a result, the award will include three main categories: The first category targets private companies, the second targets individuals, and the third targets the strategic partners of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council.

First category

The first category includes private companies registered on Nafis platform that have achieved Emiratisation targets in accordance with the following sub-categories: large-sized companies of 1,000 employees and more; medium-sized companies of 500-999 employees and small-sized companies of less than 499 employees.

The mechanism for selecting the winning companies will be fully automated through the performance management system, which will be based on the percentage of Emiratisation targets achieved in accordance with the criteria set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Companies are not required to submit any documents or fill out applications for nomination.

Second category

The second category, targeting individuals, includes the following specialised categories: nursing jobs, medical jobs, financial jobs, legal jobs, retail jobs, programming jobs, supervisory/leadership jobs, administrative jobs, professional jobs and trainees registered in Nafis’ Apprentice Programme.

All Emirati private sector employees are welcome to participate via the website (, where they can fill out the nomination application form and attach the required documents. These applications will be evaluated by a jury accredited by the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Programme. The criteria for selecting the winners are determined around 3 main factors: performance and continuous learning, adaptation and positive citizenship, results and achievements.

Third category

The third category, targeting the strategic partners, will recognise the Council’s government and semi-governmental partners, in appreciation of their efforts and contributions to achieving the Council’s visions with regards to Emiratisation.

The results of the award will be announced during the first quarter of 2023.