The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is located in Asia. It is situated in the southeastern region of the Asian continent and in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It overlooks the Arabian Gulf on the north and northwest, borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west and south, and the Sultanate of Oman to the southeast. Spread over 83,600 square kilometers, the UAE is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. It is a politically and economically stable country. The UAE hosts more than 200 nationalities doing business, living, learning, and touring the country.
*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in the United Arab Emirates.
Abu Dhabi City
Emirati Dirham (AED; Dhs)
Languages spoken :
9.99 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (38 of 139 countries)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
3% (2021 est.)
The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in United Arab Emirates is 5 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.
NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.
The maximum working hours for the private sector is eight hours per day, or 48 hours per week. During the holy month of Ramadan, the working hours must be reduced by two hours.
The worker must not work for more than five consecutive hours without a break or breaks of not less than an hour in total, provided that these periods are not included in the working hours.
The employer may ask the employee to work overtime, provided the number of extra hours does not exceed two hours in one day. In all cases, the total working hours must not exceed 144 hours every three weeks.
If the nature of the work requires employees to work beyond the normal working hours, then they become entitled to a payment equal to normal working hours’ remuneration (which is based on basic salary) plus 25% of that pay. It increases to 50% if overtime is done between 10 pm and 4 am. This rule does not apply to workers who work in shifts.
A probationary period for the worker must not exceed six months. It is not permissible to appoint a worker under probationary period more than once for employer, and if the worker successfully passes the probationary period and continues to work, the contract becomes valid according to the agreed terms. This period must be counted within the term of service.
Either party to the employment contract may terminate the contract for any legitimate reason, provided that the other party is notified in writing and work is performed during the notice period agreed upon in the contract, provided that such period is not less than 30 days and not more than 90 days.
A worker is entitled to an annual leave with full wage, of not less than:
An employee is entitled to a sick leave of not more than 90 days per year, only after the end of the probationary period. The 90 days’ sick leave can be continuous or intermittent, and the salary is paid as follows:
During the probationary period, the employee may get sick leave without pay, subject to the approval of the employer and based on a medical report issued by the medical entity that stipulates the necessity of the leave.
Parental leave is a paid leave that can be applied for by both parents of the baby. The duration of parental leave is five working days from the day of the birth of their child to six months. The same five days are also classified as paternity leave by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization.
Female workers are entitled to a maternity leave of 60 days, according to the following:
An application for maternity leave must be done up to 30 days prior to the expected date of delivery. The female worker may, after using the maternity leave, be absent from work without a wage for a period not exceeding continuous or intermittent 45 days.
There is no provision for paternity leave that is separate from the five days provided for under parental leave.
|Type of Leave||Duration|
|Sabbatical leave to perform the national service||
The worker may, after obtaining the approval of the employer, have unpaid leave. This leave must not be included in the worker’s service term at the employer or in the period of the contribution in the retirement scheme. The worker, who does not return directly to work without a legitimate reason after the end of the leave, is not entitled to wages for the absence period following the end of the leave.
Employees may be granted special leave for the performance of Hajj under the provisions that the leave:
Health Insurance regulations differ across the emirates.
Health Insurance for resident expatriates: The extent of coverage is determined by the employee’s salary, designation, etc. The extent of coverage and the type of policy/scheme would determine the cost of their medical services.
The employer must in case the worker has a work injury or an occupational disease:
The Unemployment Insurance scheme is a form of insurance/social security that provides Emiratis and residents working in the federal and private sectors financial support if they lose their jobs, as a result of termination by their employers.
Financial support is given in exchange for a monthly insurance premium paid by the worker during employment.
The scheme applies to all workers in the private and federal sectors except:
Investors and business owners who own and manage their business themselves;
Employees on a temporary basis;
Juveniles under the age of 18;
Retirees who receive a pension and have joined a new employer.
From June 1, 2023, workers with a basic salary of AED 16,000 or less will need to pay a monthly insurance premium of AED 5, i.e., AED 60 annually. The compensation for this category must not exceed the monthly amount of AED 10,000. Those with a basic salary exceeding AED 16,000 will need to pay AED 10 per month, i.e., AED 120 annually. The compensation for this category must not exceed AED 20,000 monthly.
Workers may choose to pay the premium on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or on an annual basis.
Registration in a Pension Scheme is compulsory for the UAE and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nationals.
Employees are entitled to a retirement pension if:
The amount of pension increases by 2% for every year the employee works after 20 years of service until they complete 35 years of service. When an employee completes 35 years of service, they qualify to get a pension equal to their salary. When an employee exceeds 35 years of service, they get a pension equal to three salaries for each year.
Employees are entitled to end-of-service benefits if they are not eligible for a pension.
The employee has to spend at least one year of service to be eligible for end-of-service gratuity. In the event of voluntary resignation, the eligibility period for gratuity is 19 years and 11 months. An additional working day for an insured is calculated as a whole month, and the insured is presumed to have completed 20 years of service, which is the qualifying period for the pension.
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