UAE Nationals comprised nearly a third of Expo 2020 Dubai’s total workforce, the result of various initiatives to empower and upskill Emiratis across the organisation – honouring the UAE’s wider Emiratisation efforts to unlock the potential of citizens and create a driving force in the country's economic development.
Of the 30 per cent of UAE Nationals – including secondees – within its workforce, the majority (248 employees) worked within the Operations division; 35 per cent of all employees in leadership positions (Lead Manager or above) within this division were also Emiratis. A total of 56 UAE Nationals worked in the Expo Pavilions & Exhibition division, followed by 35 in the Director General’s Office and 32 within Sales, Marketing and Communications.
Reflecting Expo 2020 Dubai’s commitment to empowering women, and the host of the first Women’s Pavilion at a World Expo in more than 50 years, 65 per cent of the Emirati workforce were women, with 53 per cent of all nationals ages 20-30 and 34 per cent between 30 and 40.
Marjan Faraidooni, Chief HR Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Our efforts to recruit, upskill and empower Emiratis across the entirety of our World Expo has not emerged in a vacuum. With six unique recruitment and professional development initiatives, it represents our firm commitment – before, during and after our six-month run – to the UAE’s wider Emiratisation efforts.
“As we celebrate 24 million visits, we also celebrate the talents of all UAE Nationals within our Tribe who have helped ensure the success of the region’s first World Expo, bringing the world together in the most uncertain of times.”
Empowering Emiratis has long been a central part of the UAE’s wider efforts to build a competitive knowledge economy, with Emiratisation one of 11 Key Performance Indicators relating to Vision 2021, tracking its progress at the national level.
With this in mind, Expo 2020 Dubai ran two cycles of a comprehensive Apprenticeship Programme – a month-long training programme where apprentices were given the opportunity to complete a series of classroom training and skill-building modules before a job placement at the World Expo. In its second cycle, Expo 2020 collaborated with Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority to run the Tumoohi Programme. Testament to its popularity, 2,700 Emirati graduates applied, with 20 selected to join Expo 2020 Dubai.
Expo 2020 Dubai also launched the Expo Generation Programme, open to 18-to-35-year-old Emirati graduates. Under the scheme, 122 Emiratis were selected for an intensive, exhilarating six-week training programme, which was them develop key operational and leadership skills. The programme’s graduates were then assigned a supportive operational and management role, providing them with a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity.
The Leading the Expo Way Programme was Expo 2020 Dubai’s first mass training course, designed specifically to create a consistent level of managerial and leadership across all leaders and managers and to lead ‘the Expo way’. This programme consisted of four modules, with participants numbering more than 200.
Approximately 130 employees were also invited to be part of the Mission Leader Programme, an accelerated learning initiative of five different modules. Designed to equip colleagues to become agents of change in their respective teams and across the organisation. The programme saw participants grow and develop into senior positions at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The World Expo's Site Connect Programme comprised of five functional rotations and featured 61 participants, was developed in 2020 to provide colleagues with an opportunity to connect and understand the site – its structure, zones and the operational aspects required to confidently fulfil their roles with ‘on-the-job’ experiences. The programme allowed participants to understand and experience the intricate dynamics of the Expo operational environment, how it connects to other parts of the business and how they would operate during event-time.
The programme increased participants operational awareness, allowing them a better working knowledge of the Expo 2020 Dubai site within the context of operations.
Looking beyond the event’s six month run, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, the Outplacement Programme was open to all full-time and temporary staff at Expo 2020 Dubai, designed to assist Expo employees find new careers post-Expo. It comprised online workshops, focused on CV writing, interview skills and career counselling; career fairs; outreach to UAE Government and Expo 2020 Dubai Partners; and a Talent Book, featuring a short experience statement for UAE National staff for Government and Partner organisations.
Expo 2020 Dubai came to an end in spectacular style in the early hours of 1 April, as Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, closed the breath-taking Entry Portals for the final time, following an emotional Closing Ceremony that honoured the World Expo’s iconic moments.