Advert for Emiratis to work as Sandwich makers sparks outrage and investigation

The Emiratisation of the workforce has gone awry after Public Prosecution launched a probe into a ‘contentious’ job ad.

A UAE business posting a job ad seeking “sandwich makers” bit off more than it could chew when Emiratis took them up on the offer.

Emiratis have reacted with unbridled fury to the suggestion that they could fill such a role, now that the UAE has opened an investigation into the ‘contentious’ advert.

The UAE Public Prosecution said on Saturday that it intended to question the ‘CEO of the company’ without mentioning which firm posted the ad.

According to a statement from the Kamal Jamjoom Group conglomerate, the role was advertised to support the UAE’s effort to localize jobs by hiring Emiratis, thanks to Subway’s fast food chain.

According to the Public Prosecution, the ad violated Emiratisation regulations and media content standards because it included “contentious” material. The Public Prosecution did not specify what specifically made the ad “contentious”.

An ad from the Kamal Jamjoom Group came before the UAE’s deadline for private employers with over 50 employees to meet a two percent Emirati workforce quota or face fines.

An organization that fails to employ UAE nationals in proportion to their population in the emirate concerned could be fined up to A thousand dollars ($316).

More than 90 percent of the UAE’s private sector labor force is composed of expatriates, according to the International Labour Organisation. Most Emiratis are employed in the country’s public sector.

Many Emiratis reacted negatively to the notion of being a “sandwich maker” on social media, viewing it as a “mockery” and an “insult” to Emiratis.

According to Sultan Almoathen, a former Emirati government official, the advert was an ‘attack on locals’.

Some expats’ contempt and envy toward us is revealed by the availability of such jobs, Almoathen said in a tweet.

Unfortunately, we witness an attack on our nation and leaders in our country… these jobs are seen as an attack on local people.

Emirati social commentator and photographer Al Suwaidi said that before offering Emiratis ‘demeaning jobs’ like a sandwich makers, Emiratis should be given priority for senior positions.