The Steering Committee of the first International Human Resources Conference and Exhibition (IHRC 2011), organised by the Federal Authority for Government Resources (FAHR) in the UAE, has approved the recommendations of the conference, held in Dubai during 19-20 January 2011

Over 300 experts in human resource development and planning, including government officials, professionals, strategists and academicians, attended the conference, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, discussing the global HR landscape with emphasis on policies, practices and challenges in the GCC.

The Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Awar, Director-General of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, agreed after its review meeting that the conference succeeded in achieving its goal of bringing human capital development to the centre of the development dialogue in the region.

“Evolving and managing a sustainable human capital is a challenge extending from development planning to organisational environment and attitudes. The first International Human Resources Conference and Exhibition has succeeded in breaking down the human resource challenge to its social, educational, organisational and behavioural components, proposing solutions for each of them,” commented Dr Al Awar.

The conference called on GCC governments and the private sector to adopt strategic and integrative approaches to address the skills gap in the regional job market and make jobs accessible to the local population.

Speakers at the conference also proposed that labour departments in the Gulf States should be primarily responsible for managing local workforces and creating opportunities for them. The private sector should also adopt a more supportive stance, identifying key motivators for young nationals, understanding their social, cultural and religious character and providing them with the right incentives to work.

The conference advised GCC organisations to revisit their HR policies, internal structure as well as learning and development protocols. Organisations that encourage learning, hands-on experiences, and new patters of thinking will stay ahead in terms of innovation, competitive advantage, and quality of performance, especially when GCC economies are increasingly being integrated in the global economy.

GCC employers should particularly focus on breaking down barriers of hierarchy to empower employees as well as encourage participation and attitudinal changes to embrace the culture of teamwork, the conference recommended.

Pointing to the large reserve of “tacit knowledge” resting with the mostly expatriate workforce in the region, the conference said HR departments should create efficient systems, including platforms for fruitful employee interactions, for the effective transfer of this knowledge.

The conference also highlighted gaps in HR education in the region and recommended HR management courses addressing all core functions ranging from recruitment and selection to management and retention. Contemporary social research should form the foundations for such programmes.

“IHRC 2011 has provided strategic insights on how GCC States can complete the human resources puzzle. The recommendations of the conference will encourage introspection and empower governments and the private sector with critical knowledge in their HR planning,” said Dr Khaled Othman Al-Yahya, Professor and Director for the Governance and Public Management Programme at the Dubai School of Government and member of the IHRC 2011 Steering Committee.

IHRC 2011 was organised with the support of the Dubai School of Government and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR). FAHR has decided to make the conference an annual event to ensure regular interaction among human resource planners and professionals and review of the regional HR environment.

For more information on the conference please visit

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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