Leadership development Emerati Talent for regional development goals

Developing Emerati Talent in the Middle East: Strategies for HR Leaders To Develop Next-Gen Leaders

April 24, 2024

Posted by Alexandra Lamb

In the dynamic landscape of the Middle East, nurturing local talent, particularly Emerati talent, has become a strategic imperative for organisations seeking sustainable growth and success. As HR leaders, it's essential to understand the unique challenges and opportunities in developing Emerati talent and to implement evidence-based strategies that align with the region's developmental goals, such as the D33 goals. Importantly, understanding the development motivations of Emerati talent themselves is crucial. 

The talent ecosystem in the Middle East is a dynamic and evolving landscape shaped by diverse factors including demographics, economic growth, and government policies. At its core, the region boasts a young and increasingly educated population, with a growing emphasis on developing local talent to meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy. Key elements of the talent ecosystem include government initiatives to enhance education and skills development, the presence of multinational corporations and emerging startups driving innovation and job creation, as well as the influence of cultural and societal norms on workforce participation and talent retention.

The D33 goals, also known as the Emiratisation goals, are a set of targets established by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to increase the participation of Emirati nationals in the workforce. The goals aim to achieve a minimum of 33% Emiratisation across various sectors, including government, semi-government, and private organisations, by recruiting, training, and developing local talent. The D33 goals reflect the UAE's commitment to empowering its citizens, reducing dependence on expatriate workers, and building a sustainable and diversified economy driven by a skilled and capable local workforce. Achieving the D33 goals requires collaboration between government entities, educational institutions, and businesses to implement strategies such as vocational training, career development programs, and incentives for Emirati employment. Despite challenges such as skills gaps and talent mobility, the Middle East talent ecosystem is characterised by a vibrant mix of opportunities and initiatives aimed at nurturing talent, fostering entrepreneurship, and driving sustainable growth in the region.

Coaching can play a vital role in unlocking the potential of Emerati Talent and driving business impact

Let's explore how learning programs and coaching can play a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of Emerati talent, achieving the D33 and driving business impact.

Start With Understanding the Landscape:

Research indicates that investing in local talent is crucial for building a skilled workforce and driving economic growth in the Middle East. According to a study by the World Bank, developing domestic talent is a key priority for countries in the region to reduce reliance on expatriate workers and enhance national competitiveness. HR leaders must familiarise themselves with the region's developmental goals, such as the D33 goals in the UAE as mentioned above, which aim to enhance the skills and capabilities of Emerati nationals and increase their participation in the workforce.

Design Tailored Learning Programs: To develop Emerati talent effectively, HR leaders should design learning programs that are tailored to the unique needs, aspirations, and cultural context of Emerati individuals. This may involve offering vocational training, apprenticeships, and internship programs that provide hands-on experience and practical skills development. Additionally, leadership development programs that focus on soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and cultural intelligence, can enable Emerati talent to thrive and take on leadership roles in the diverse work environments of the 2024 environment.

Coaching for Growth and Development:

Coaching plays a critical role in supporting the growth and development of Emerati talent by providing personalised guidance, feedback, and support. HR leaders can leverage coaching to enable Emerati individuals in identify their strengths, set goals, and overcome barriers to success. By partnering with qualified coaches who understand the local context and cultural nuances, organisations can empower Emerati talent to fulfil their potential and contribute to business success. Coaching is available via the BOLDLY marketplace in both English and Arabic to meet this need.

Impact on Business Performance:

Investing in the development of Emerati talent not only aligns with the region's developmental goals but also delivers tangible benefits for businesses. Research by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has shown that organisations with diverse and inclusive workforces are more innovative, productive, and resilient to market changes. By harnessing the potential of Emerati talent, organisations can tap into new perspectives, ideas, and capabilities that drive business growth and competitiveness in the Middle East market.

Despite the opportunities, developing Emerati talent in the Middle East comes with its challenges, including addressing skills gaps, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and promoting inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. HR leaders must navigate these challenges proactively, leveraging evidence-based practices, partnerships with educational institutions, and government initiatives to build a pipeline of skilled Emerati talent that fuels organisational success and contributes to the broader socio-economic development of the region.

To harness the full potential of leadership development for Emerati talent in your organisation, contact us at connect@boldly.app. BOLDLY is a coach marketplace featuring vetted coaches who specialize in transforming team dynamics and fostering innovative cultures through leadership development coaching and courses.

About the Author:

Alexandra Lamb is an accomplished organisational development practitioner, with experience across APAC, North America, and MENA. With 20+ years in professional practice, conglomerates, and startups, she has collaborated with rapid-growth companies and industry innovators to develop leaders and high-performance teams. She is particularly experienced in talent strategy as a driver for business growth. Drawing from her experience in the fields of talent management, psychology, coaching, product development, and human-centred design, Alex prides herself on using commercial acumen to design talent solutions with true impact.