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UAE: Gender & nationality discrimination in hiring widespread despite anti-hate & discrimination laws, say recruitment agencies

"'Don't look at the passport': UAE employers warned not to prize nationality over skills when hiring," 19 Nov 2020

Many companies still prioritise a candidate’s nationality over skillset – despite the threat of prosecution under anti-discrimination laws...

Several leading agencies told The National they had stopped working with employers who insist on hiring specific nationalities or genders...

[despite] penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dirhams....

“Sadly, discrimination in recruitment is a very real issue – and it’s usually because of personal bias or stereotypes of the hiring managers,” said Nevin Lewis, chief executive of Black and Grey, which recruits candidates for white-collar jobs...

He said even with laws in place, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the company has diversity...

The problem appears to persist across the job market, from low-pay unskilled work to professional roles...

Faisal Gul is a Pakistani engineer who has been searching for work in Dubai for nearly a year.

“I’ve given so many interviews, but I notice that it’s mostly the same race as the hiring manager that gets hired for the role,” said Mr Gul, who has a degree in electrical engineering and two years of workplace experience in his home country.

“Even if I do get hired, I’m worried my salary would be much less than some of the other nationalities.”