Human Capital is important for any nation and the United Arab Emirates has placed special emphasis on this, not only from the country’s top leadership but also by the private sector.
UAE’s ranking in the ‘Human Capital Index’
The World Bank has ranked the UAE and Bahrain as the top destinations in the Arab world to invest in human capital, according to the Human Capital Index 2020, which measures potential productivity in the health and education sectors across 98% of the world’s population, with a focus on the knowledge, skills, and health that a child born today is expected to accumulate by their 18th birthday.
The UAE ranked 44th against a global benchmark and first in the Arab world in the index, followed by Bahrain at 46th, Oman at 64th, Saudi Arabia at 84th, and Kuwait at 88th.
The UAE recorded a score of 0.67 compared to a previous ranking of 0.62.
According to the World Bank, a child born in the UAE today will be 67% as productive when he/she grows up as he/she could be if he/she enjoyed complete education and full health. This is higher than the average for the Middle East & North Africa region.
The probability of survival to age 5 is 99 out of 100 children born in the UAE and a child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 13.5 years of school by her/his 18th birthday.
Across the country, 94% of 15-year olds will survive until age 60. This statistic is a proxy for the range of health risks that a child born today would experience as an adult under current conditions.
UAE’s leadership behind the human spirit
UAE’s Founder the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan once said; “A nation’s true wealth does not lie in its currency. It exists in the human spirit and the will to direct intellect, capability, and resources in the service of the nation.”
To that effect, more than one-third of the UAE’s 61.35 billion Dirhams ($16.72 bn) federal budget passed for 2020 was dedicated to social development and enterprises that aim to enhance and improve life in the UAE for Emiratis and residents alike.
Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi is a UAE author and director-general of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. He wrote in Gulf News that the UAE’s move towards a knowledge-based economy, which depends on new vital fields such as nuclear and renewable energies, space science, and other sciences and areas of knowledge, requires the existence of a qualified population adept in these fields.
“There are exceptional human resource challenges globally. Many studies, including one by the World Economic Forum, highlight the challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Half of all the current occupations in the world are expected to be automated by 2030,” he said highlighting the need for qualified human resources able to keep pace with and adapt to these rapid developments in the labor market.
Private sector views on HR
UAE-based organizations have identified employee experience (EX) as a top strategic initiative, according to KPMG. However, it is important for businesses to understand the long-term commitment required to truly bring change to an organization’s culture.
Preparing begins with understanding the impact of disruptive technologies.