Emiratis are still reluctant to heed government calls and take up jobs in the private sector, with their number accounting for only around 6.1 per cent of the total private sector labour in Abu Dhabi.
Official data showed the bulk of nationals still prefer the public sector for more allowances and less work hours as they dominate the workforce in that sector, accounting for nearly 87.4 per cent.
In such sectors as the hotels, restaurants and construction, the native workforce has remained negligible, accounting for only about 0.4 per cent, showed the figures by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
The report also showed nationals form as low as 3.9 per cent of the total labour in the manufacturing sector although it has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UAE over the past decade and is now the second largest GDP component after the oil sector.
The UAE has been locked in a drive over the past two decades to increase the number of national employees in the private sector after the public sector became redundant.
Experts believe finding jobs for Emiratis in the private sector is the only solution to trim unemployment on the grounds the private sector is poised for steady growth, unlike the public sector which could stabilise or even shrink with the growing government trend to privatise public establishments.