In a push for government employees wishing to start their own businesses, the UAE announced the provision of a year-long sabbatical leave starting January 2, 2023.
The concept was first proposed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in July as a means to encourage Emiratis to start their own businesses while still working for the government, The Khaleej Times reported. The Emirates News Agency has called it a first-of-its-kind in the world. Sheikh Mohammed had said that the goal of this policy is to encourage the youth to take advantage of the commercial opportunities offered by UAE.
During this sabbatical leave, Emiratis will receive half of their paychecks. The leave must be granted by the head of the federal agency for which the person works and may be coupled with unpaid extended leave and yearly holidays.
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources’ website, http://www.fahr.gov.ae, provides information on the requirements and prerequisites for getting an Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employment for UAE citizens who are employed by the federal government.
Acting Director-General of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, Laila Obaid Al Suwaidi said, “The Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employment reflects the pioneering vision of the UAE leadership, which aims to motivate the UAE national cadres to approach the world of entrepreneurship.”
She further said, “The authority worked on preparing a guide for Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employment, regulating the mechanism and procedures for granting ministries and federal entities the Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employment, to their national employees wishing to launch their own projects. In coordination with the Ministries of Economy, Human Resources, and Emiratisation, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources has also prepared a detailed guide for economic projects and establishments that contribute to the revitalization of the country’s economy, including details that help the authorities when considering their employees’ requests for Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employment.”