Brief Introduction to Dubai Labour Law

What Labour Law applies to Dubai job seekers and employees?

Specifically pertaining to jobs in Dubai, there are two separate Labour Laws you need to understand,

  • The UAE Federal Labour Law and;
  • The Dubai Labour Law.

What is the UAE Federal Labour Law?

For purposes of seeking employment in Dubai, the UAE Federal Labour Law refers specifically to Federal Law Number 8 of 1980, including all subsequent annual amendments already published and will be published. It contains, among other things, the reciprocal rights and obligations of employers and employees toward each other and specific requirements which must be fulfilled by both parties so that expatriates may legally work in the UAE. The UAE Federal Labour Law also governs the relationship of employees and employers and the State throughout the course of their business or employment in the UAE.

Because the UAE is a federation of Emirates, each Emirate being autonomous, has the power to modify or otherwise alter specific provisions of Federal Laws and such modifications shall apply to that particular Emirate only.

Who is covered by the UAE Federal Labour Law?

  • All persons, including expatriates aged 18-60, who are gainfully employed in the United Arab Emirates are subject to the UAE Federal Labour Law except:
  • All persons employed in Municipal, State or Public bodies;
  • All members of the Armed Forces and the Police and Security Service;
  • All privately-sponsored domestic servants;
  • All unskilled labourers in the agriculture sector.
  • All employees of any company operating in Free Zones within of the UAE.

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