10 Things to Know Before Working in the United Arab Emirates





Are you planning to work in the UAE? Do you have plans to migrate to Abu Dhabi or Dubai for work? If yes, this article is for you! Many expats and domestic workers are considering to work in this country for good reasons such as plenty of work vacancies, good career paths, a great salary, and lots of foreign benefits. If you are someone looking forward to landing a good job one of these days, the Middle East is a great region to start off your career. And in case you need a guide before you finally work in the UAE, continue reading this article for the information.

Also Read: Why Keeping the Passport of Employee is Illegal

Before you become an employee in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you have to consider things that will affect your employment. The UAE Labor Law talks about many things that you need to allocate sufficient time for you to become aware of your rights and privileges as an employee. If you will not learn all of it, there’s a tendency that your employer will take advantage of your employment. To prevent that from happening, it’s better to know your considerations beforehand. So, for new expats and those who are planning to work in the country soon, here are the things you need to consider when working in the UAE.

Things To Consider When Working In The UAE

Your employment in the UAE is not the sole responsibility of your employer or the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). You also have to work hard to preserve your rights and privileges as an employee. With that kind of mindset, you’ll be able to learn these top 10 things:

  • Your employment starts when you sign the employment contract.

That’s right. Your employment will only start after you and your employer sign your employment contract. Before that, you should read the content and clauses included in that document. Your name, salary, your job description, your responsibilities as an employee, your employer’s responsibilities, the leaves you are entitled to, your notice period, your end-of-service pay, and a lot more should be included in the written agreement. If you don’t find any of these, you might want to ask the HR or your employer about the inclusions. Again, don’t come to work without signing your employment contract. You need a valid document proving that you are employed.

  • Your job offer and job description stated in the contract should match.

When receiving your job offer, ensure that you read your job description in your employment contract. This is to assure yourself that you will only be doing the work stated in your employment contract. And even before you fly in the country, you need to read the terms and conditions written in the contract so you won’t have to face a lot of issues in the future. Specifically, make sure to check your job title, the responsibilities you have to do under that position, the equivalent salary, and other benefits attached to it.

  • Your employer or agency should you a copy of the signed employment contract.

After the checking and signing, you should receive a copy of your employment contract. You can use this for future references in case you involve in a dispute with your employer. If your employer doesn’t give your copy voluntarily, you should be the one to ask for it. Do not skip this information because this is the only way you can keep the evidence of your employment. Remember that your employment contract is one of the crucial documents you need to hold.

  • Your employer is in charge of your travel costs and other recruitment expenses.

You will not pay when you get hired in the UAE. Keep this in mind. If the agency is asking you for upfront recruitment fees, do not pay! If your employer is telling you that you should pay for the travel cost, do not fall into the trap. All the costs associated with your employment should be carried by your employer including your plane ticket, visa for the entry, and any dues to the recruitment agency where you got hired.

  • Your employer is responsible for getting your working visa and residence permit.

Along with preliminary employment requirements, your employer should be the one to get your working visa and residence permit and pay for them. The processing of your employment requirements should be done by your employer or the HR of the company you are applying in even after you arrive in the UAE. Without these documents, you should not go to work yet. Wait for all the requirements to be completed first. In this way, you can assure that your employer is serious about establishing a stable employee-employer relationship with you. Again, do not pay for anything related to your employment!

  • You are the one who will keep your personal documents.

Personal documents such as passport, visa, permits, and identification cards must be kept by you. Your employer is not entitled to any of your personal data including these documents. In case your boss is insisting to get your passport before you start working, inform him that you know about the passport rule in the UAE. Reiterate to him that it is illegal to keep the employee’s passport into his possession and if he will still insist, you have the right to report him to the authorities.

  • You have the right to contact the Labour Office in case of no work when you arrive.

Before you fly to the UAE, you should receive a copy of your job offer or job contract. However, there are cases that your flights are booked even before you got those copies. In case you face a situation wherein you arrive at the UAE without any work waiting, you can contact the Labor Office for your concerns. You should report what happened to the authorities so they can give you advice on what to do or they can contact the agency or employer for you.

  • You are entitled to receive your salaries on time.

Always remember that your salaries must be paid on time. Although you are just about to start your employment, you need to be aware of this information already so that you have an idea when to remind your employer about your delayed salary. In case you are not aware, you can use delayed salaries to file a case against your employer. If your reminder doesn’t work, you can tell your employer that paying employees late has equivalent punishments.

  • You can resign anytime.

Your employer should not force you to work. You have the right to resign anytime you want. But, keep in mind that there is always a condition attached to your resignation and this is mentioned in your employment contract. Normally, you can resign after 1 year of being employed. If you resign in less than a year, you will not receive any gratuity pay or your employer can file a case against you if you broke the terms and conditions in your employment contract. If your contract with the employer is 2 years, you should also try to finish the term before you resign for a smooth exit.

  • You can contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation anytime.

As a future employee, you can always contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) for concerns. This organization will help you solve your issues regarding your employment such as job contracts, conflicts with your employer, and termination. You can contact them at 800-66473 / 800MOHRE, email them at ask@mohre.gov.ae, or visit their website at www.mohre.gov.ae/en/home.

Before you go to the UAE, make sure to bring all this information for your own good. And don’t forget to share this with your family and friends in the UAE!

Disclaimer: UAELabour.org is an informational site only and should serve as a guide. For updated details and policies, always contact proper authorities for assistance. If you are facing challenges at your work, please contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or previously known as UAE Ministry of Labour for guidance. You may also seek help from a lawyer regarding your case.

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