United Arab Emirates

From a desert, to literally one of the best tourist countries to visit

The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, in the Middle East, where Arabic is the official language. The United Arab Emirates is an elective monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates, consisting of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. You may know UAE for Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, which is in Dubai, the hub of UAE. Nevertheless, with vast oil and natural gas reserves, the state has made an impressive attempt to steer its profits towards tourism, education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Due to which, UAE is an excellent location for expansion into Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts should be written in Arabic. If the contract is in another language, an Arabic translation of the employment contract should be provided to both the employer and employee. If the employee is unable to understand the contract or is illiterate, then a certificate is required from the Ministry of Labour.
The salaries paid are supposed to be in AED and should be paid according to the contract.
The employment contract should include the following:
Names and address of both the parties, nationality of the employee, date of joining, contract type, duration of the contract, job description, salary breakdown, payment method and its frequency, working days and no. of hours, leaves and benefits, social insurance contributions and deductions (Omani citizens only), non-compete and non-disclosure clauses, adherence to guidelines and policies, end of service benefits, compensation of early termination, coverage of recruitment costs and residency permits for non UAE nationals, and any other rules and regulations which are instructed by the Ministry.
Employers must inform the labour office of any new employment activity and are required to maintain sufficient records.

There are 2 types of contracts.

imgFull time – Indefinite

No. of hours: fixed as per the contract

img Part time – Definite

Usually for 6 months and 6 hours per day. If the contract continues after the definite period, it would be renewed as an indefinite full-time contract.

Working Hours

The working hours are 8 hours per day, 48 hours per week with a 2-day weekend.

The working hours during the Holy month of Ramadan are different for Muslim employees where the number of hours per week is reduced to 30 hours per week and 6 hours per day. The employees are entitled to overtime pay for a maximum of 2 hours overtime per day.


There are several types of leaves an employee can claim in UAE.

imgSick leave

Employees are entitled for a maximum of 45 days of paid sick leave per year after the probation period ends which are medically certified. 15 days are fully paid whereas the rest of the 30 days are half paid sick leaves. If the sick leaves are used up, the rest of the it will be unpaid, and employees might be subject to termination depending on the employer.

img Maternity/Paternity leave

Female staff are entitled to 45 days of maternity paid leave that covers the periods pre- and post-delivery which can be availed after 1 year of service. However, those who have not completed 1 year service will receive maternity leave at half pay. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely to receive paternity leave.

imgVacation leave

After 6 months of continuous service, the employee is granted leave for 2 days per month, whereas after the completion of 1 year service, employees are then eligible for 30 days annual leave. Any untaken annual leave days may be carried forward to the next year only once. Moreover, employees are granted a one-time Pilgrimage leave without pay, which shouldn’t exceed 30 days, to conduct a pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

img Public Holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Hijri new year
  • Lailat al Miraj
  • Milad Un Nabi (Prophet Muhammad’s pbuh birthday)
  • Eid al Fitr
  • Arafat day
  • Eid al Adha
  • National Day


The minimum wage in UAE is determined by the Ministry of Labour and the Central Bank of the UAE. Every year the minimum wage is determined based on several factors such as the literacy rate of the employee.
Moreover, employers determine the benefits but aren’t required to pay employees any bonuses. However, the employer can choose to include bonuses within the employees’ salary packages. Subsequently, it is quite common for companies to pay the employees 1- to-2-months’ worth bonuses at the end of 1 year service. Nevertheless, the employers may be obliged to provide healthcare to its employees subject to the location.

Employment, Termination and EOSB

The employment contract expires when the definite period ends, when the designated contract work is finished or when the employee dies.
Both employer and employee can initiate the termination process, however, a written notice letter is required between 7 and 30 days depending on the type of employment and the employee’s length of service. However, if a contract is dismissed before it ends, the party who terminates the contract will be obliged to pay compensation to the other party equal to the salary of the notice period.
Employers can terminate employees without notice in certain circumstances, such as breach of contract, assaults, thefts etc…
Moving on, the retirement age in UAE is 60 years. However, this can go up to 65 years provided the employer can secure the necessary permits. After the completion of service, the employee is entitled to a gratuity pay from the employer at the end for the years of work.
The gratuity amount is usually worth 21 days for each year of service during the first 5 years, plus 30 days’ worth salary for each additional year of service after that.