Starting 2 January, 2023, the UAE will allow government employees a year-long paid leave to start their own businesses. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, announced the move in July this year as a way to encourage employees in the government sector to become entrepreneurs. They will continue to receive half their pay cheque while on sabbatical. The step is part of ‘Projects of the 50’, which includes several initiatives to accelerate the UAE’s economy and development.
“Our goal is to encourage our youth to take advantage of the huge business opportunities offered by our national economy,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a tweet.
وأقررنا اليوم ضمن المجلس قرار إجازة التفرغ للمواطنين العاملين في الحكومة الراغبين في إدارة أعمالهم الحرة .الإجازة تبلغ عام كامل بنصف الراتب مع الحفاظ على الوظيفة ..هدفنا تشجيع شبابنا على الاستفادة من الفرص التجارية الضخمة التي يوفرها اقتصادنا الوطني .. pic.twitter.com/3UpZ8PG8yY
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 7, 2022
The head of the federal authority can approve such kind of an Entrepreneurship Leave for an employee wishing to obtain it. They can combine it with unpaid leave and annual leave. In order to further support employees who will opt for it and boost their capabilities, the UAE government will enter partnerships with business incubators and major private sector companies.
This initiative is the first of its kind world over. Back in July when the Entrepreneurship Leave was first announced, the UAE government also revealed their plans to restructure their social welfare programme. It will provide support to low income families, make new welfare allocations and increase allowances and subsidies.