Dubai manpower licence – the global mobility key to the UAE

Talent Acquisition EMEA Global Employment and Mobility

By Albert Kahlow
September 28, 2018

September 15, 2022

0 min read

Partner with a Dubai manpower licence holder to unlock business opportunities in the Middle East

It is easy to see why The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an attractive destination for companies seeking new markets or regional expansion.

Extensive diplomatic and commercial international relations dovetail with a thriving private sector. This creates the perfect business climate for companies working within the global energy sector.

According to the World Bank Group, it is the 21st best performing nation in the world for doing business. After climbing 5 places since 2017, it is now the highest placed nation in the Middle East.

Continuous and ambitious investment in the UAE

The energy investment climate is also enticing. The country has invested $40-60bn dollars to increase oil production to 3.5m barrels a day. However, owning the world’s 7th largest crude oil reserves does not mean sole reliance on one income stream. Other notable energy projects include:

  • The huge Barakah Nuclear Plant plans to provide 25% of national electricity by 2020
  • The showcase event, Expo2020 will highlight a national focus on sustainability and green energy.
  • The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park aims to generate 5,000 MW of clean energy by 2030

Economic diversity

In fact, the UAE has the most diversified economy among the GGC countries. GDP growth from non-oil trade has expanded 28 times since 1981. Investment in infrastructure, tourism and media has attracted the world’s largest businesses to the region. The diversity of the economy is highlighted by various emirates specialising in certain sectors

The capital, Abu Dhabi is the hub for oil & gas production and home to 94% of the country’s reserves. By contrast, Dubai is a strategic centre for oil trading and energy services. Dubai’s multicultural community and inspiring architecture make it a desirable hub for enterprise.

Vibrant trade is boosted by the flourishing shipping ports of Fujairah. We are also witnessing impressive growth in Ras Al Khaimah, particularly in manufacturing. In both locations, many industries have benefited from Free Trade Zones.

Free trade zones are a great incentive for businesses and offer a relatively easy set up option, provided the services offered fall exclusively within that location. Each trade zone will have its own guidelines and regulations pertaining to immigration, ownership and taxation, so we advise companies  to research this carefully to ensure that services can be offered to their full customer base, in all locations.

However, the incentives of each Free Trade Zone are restricted to individual locations. It is important to consider the variance between each zone when setting up your base.

If you are considering entering the UAE market, there are a few key regulatory areas to consider first…

 Meeting regulatory challenges in the UAE

Meeting regulatory challenges in the UAE

Successful operations in the UAE are dependent on managing the legal aspects. It is crucial to understand and adhere to national employment and immigration regulations.

Two particular challenges to consider:

  • The visa process can be cumbersome and complex due to regular process changes. Often these changes are difficult to track due to not being publicly communicated.
  • UAE based companies are restricted on the number of visas they can sponsor. This impacts growth and hampers general staffing plans. This restriction is dependent on the licence they hold and size of their operation.

It is advisable to work with local professional partners that can manage the visa process on your behalf.

Challenges around immigration lead to increased cost, delayed mobilisations and additional project complexity. All of which are unnecessary complications when also trying to establish your business.

As well as processing the correct visa sponsorship services, companies must also provide

  • UAE accredited medical insurance,
  • WPS registered payroll
  • A guarantee that individuals own a local bank account
  • A deposit for each worker mobilising to UAE

Compliantly mobilising and supporting employees throughout their UAE work assignment is equally crucial.

For your workforce, the process of settling in can be fraught with challenge. Securing an apartment, finding schools and obtaining family visas can be complex.

If not managed correctly, these obstacles could prevent talented expatriates wanting to move or stay in the UAE.


Overcoming these hurdles – The Dubai Manpower Licence

An accredited staffing provider with the Dubai Manpower Licence, such as Airswift, can alleviate these challenges. The licence, known as MR 1283, enables a provider to process and sponsor an unlimited number of visas on behalf of their clients.

Also, as a globally leading Technical Recruitment Specialist, Airswift can source and supply the skilled personnel companies need to grow their businesses. Licensed recruitment agencies can also manage the legal obligations of the employer, which reduces the complexity of coordinating housing, salaries and health insurance.

The in-depth operational standards (and cost) required for a licence deter many businesses. Few companies have the capability or choose to invest in this approach. This is especially true in the technical engineering manpower space that Airswift specialise in.

Several clients have found managing relocation in-house or via third parties challenging.

For these partners, we provide a centralised Global Mobility service for relocation management. Alongside visa processing, the service consultants manage individual settling in obstacles as well. These include immigration, payroll services, employment outsourcing and PRO services.

Do you want to grow your international business?

In summary, The United Arab Emirates is a great location for multinational companies. That is, if they can navigate local workforce regulations and requirements.

Airswift certainly think so. At a time when many of our peers are scaling back or leaving the UAE completely, we continue to invest and are significantly expanding our operation.

Our reasons? Simply because we believe in the UAE and its progressive growth polices, vibrant business environment and ongoing resurgence of the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Everyday sees the arrival of new companies into the UAE marketplace and the expansion of existing players. As well as the welcoming investment market the UAE also acts as a gateway to the world and allows access to other key markets.

This climate allows extraordinary companies of all sizes to grow their businesses, and Airswift are proud to be able to play a part in supporting this.

At Airswift, we provide compliant workforce solutions for clients. Services include global mobility, airport transfers, and finding accommodation. We are uniquely positioned to support your needs when you expand, enter or review your existing supply chain.

If you would like to discuss further, please contact us

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