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25 February 2024

UAE's Top 10 firms to work for

By Vicky Kapur

The Great Place to Work Institute has revealed its second annual list of ‘Top Companies to Work For in the UAE’.

While there are the usual suspects in the final rankings, in a welcome addition, this year’s study also recognizes top UAE companies for Emiratis and women.

The annual benchmarking study – which assesses the level of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie within an organization – forms part of the world’s largest employee survey. Most of a company’s score (two-thirds) is based on the confidential feedback of their staff, with an audit of management and HR practices by the Institute comprising the remainder of the score.

Globally the Institute recognizes the importance of creating work environments that address both the historical barriers that keep women from succeeding as well as supporting the needs of women workers. In the UAE General Electric, THE One and OmnicomMediaGroup MENA were three companies commended for their efforts in enhancing the workplace experience for women.

Commenting on the Top Companies lists, Dr. Michael Burchell, Partner & Director of Great Place to Work Institute UAE, said: “We would like to thank all the participants in this year’s program. We have seen remarkable development in HR practices in the UAE in the two years that we’ve been running the Top Companies to Work For study.

“We are pleased to see new companies make the list this year and that some of our previous list makers have improved their positions among the top 10. This shows they are applying what they learn from the research into models for continuous business improvement.”

Dr. Farrukh Kidwai, Partner & CEO of Great Place to Work Institute UAE, added: “Following the completion of the evaluation procedures, we found there were companies implementing some very impressive practices for Emiratis and women. Although they are a small group this year, we believe it is important to recognize the efforts for these companies so that we can all learn from their examples. We look forward to recognizing more companies in the program next year.”

Great Place to Work Institute UAE is part of a global research, training and consultancy firm that recognizes the best workplaces in over 45 countries worldwide.

Click here to see the complete list of Top Companies to Work For in the UAE 2012

Climbing from second place in last year’s Top Companies list to number one in 2012 was FedEx Express. Its Purple Promise Award (PPA), which recognizes a team member who goes beyond the typical expectations to ensure the customer's needs are met, was among the internal procedures recognized by the Institute as contributing to its leading result.

FedEx Express was followed by Microsoft, Marriott, PepsiCo and The One, rounding out the top five positions.

In addition to its awards for overall workplace excellence, the institute gave special recognition to the country’s top companies for Emiratis and top companies for women.

General Electric and PepsiCo were acknowledged for implementing best practices in hiring, developing and retaining Emirati talent. According to the institute, these companies’ programs hold valuable lessons for the UAE business community on how to develop the local workforce.

Click here to see the complete list of Top Companies to Work For in the UAE 2012

The Great Place to Work Institute expanded to the UAE in March 2010 following increased demand from the GCC countries for its workplace evaluation services.

Its UAE operation serve as the regional headquarters for the Middle East, with consultants and sales staff appointed in each market. Last year, the institute said it will be publishing “Top Companies to Work For” lists in each of the GCC countries 2012 onwards.

The list is not comprehensive as it ranks only those companies that apply and pay for the evaluation. This would automatically leave out scores of big names that may choose to not participate.

The institute said companies from across a variety of industries and emirates applied for recognition to the 2012 list. However, in accordance with its practices, the institute does not reveal details of companies or group of companies that did not make this list, including whether or not a company has participated for selection on the list.

The list: Any UAE company with 50 or more employees was eligible to participate in the fee-based programme.

Any company that appears on the list is selected primarily on the basis of their employees' responses to the Great Place to Work Trust Index, a proprietary employee survey developed by the Great Place to Work Institute.

In addition, the Institute evaluated materials submitted by the company, including the company's response to the Great Place to Work Culture Audit, any accompanying materials submitted by the company for consideration, as well as information gathered from other reputable sources such as media stories about the company.

Click here to see the complete list of Top Companies to Work For in the UAE 2012