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Human resource diversity in the United Arab Emirates: empirical study

Abdulfattah Yaghi (Department of Political Science and Public Administration, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain City, United Arab Emirates)
Ihsan Yaghi (International Arab Islamic Bank, Amman, Jordan)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Article publication date: 10 May 2013




The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the few countries where nationals make up less than 20 percent of the total population and less than 2 percent of the workforce. Hence organizations in the public and private sectors are highly diverse in terms of their employees' nationality, language, religion, race, and gender. The purpose of this paper is to examine how employees perceive human resource diversity and what they consider successful diversity to be.


The main research instrument is a questionnaire which measures diversity in human resources. Exploratory factor analysis, multiple regression, and descriptive statistics were used in order to analyze 795 survey responses.


The findings reveal that perception of human resource diversity in the UAE vary by employees' gender, educational level, nationality, professional experience, job level, previous experience in diverse workplace, and second language competency. Analysis of employees' responses helped to construct a four‐factor model, which can be utilized to improve diversity practices in organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Although the literature on the UAE is limited, the study proposes four factors needed to achieve perceived successful diversity practices: legal, personnel, bureaucratic, and political factors. Researchers are encouraged to use comparative approaches to test the proposed model.


The study offers important insights for researchers and practitioners of human resource management in the UAE.



Yaghi, A. and Yaghi, I. (2013), "Human resource diversity in the United Arab Emirates: empirical study", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 15-30.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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