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.

Join us. Boost your Dubai career!


  1. Arunkumar says:


    I am working with EPC company on Probation period in Abu Dhabi.Is notice period is required for terminate this job.I heard that During probation no notice period required for termination of contract? Please anser me.

  2. Hi,

    First of all I would like to thank you for this terefic web site!..very useful

    I am an Algerian citizen, I am planing to move to Dubai by next February to look for a job in the hospitality industry..I got my A-level (litterature and human sciences baccalaureate) in 2001 then studied 2 year undergraduate degree in english language at the university.
    I got also a diploma (1 year study in a private shcool) in hospitality front office programme, curently I work in a catering company as a receptionsit.

    My questions are the following: what should I provide to my prospective employer in UAE, is it my Baccalaureate or my 2 year undergraduate degree in englsih certificate ?

    Many thanks in advance

  3. Hi,

    Great website…

    Can you please advise on the process required to close my company from overseas. I have a local sponsor and some good friends in Dubai who i can use as power of attorney for me to close the company if required to do so. I dont have any issue paying a company to do all the formalities to give POA to someone else on my behalf.

    Many thanks

    • sathish radhakrishnan says:


      I am working for a brokerage insurance company for last 8 months. Now, i have got an MNC Insurance company offer. The company is requesting for NOC from the existing employer.

      I would require your advise if the company is not providing the NOC. Will i get banned for 6 months? or is it any other ways to proceed the further to join the company.

      Kindly advise me

      thanking you


      Sathish Radhakrishnan

  4. Muhammad says:

    Good Morning!

    I am looking for job in Dubai. I have some quiry related “Employement Visa Categary”. Please tell me about the “Employement Visa Categary”. What should be better categary during process employement Visa for employee?

    For example : Accountant Visa, Office Administrator Visa, or Sales Visa categary.

    1)Which Employment visa categary will be better for employee?
    2)What is the Advantagies or Disadvantagies between Employement Visa Categary of “Accountant and Sales representative”.

    Your cooperation in this regard would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks & best regards,


    • Dear Mr.Mohammed,

      I can suggest you for Accountant or office administrator visa

      The reason behind this suggestion is, in the above mentioned both visas you can also apply for family visa for your family members

      But it is not possible in sales visa

      And the basic pay is more, than the sales visa


  5. Marie Kay says:

    You should definitely read the my article on UAE labor law…hopefully it will help you.

  6. Point 3 of my labor law contract states
    The first party (with reference to my company) shall bear the cost of air ticket at the time of commencing work and also the cost of one ticket home at the time of terminating the Employment agreement.
    My company is saying that this apply only if I was employed from abroad (is that true?????) and that this would apply only in case they firing me and not if I resign.
    I can’t see anywhere this statement in the labor law contract…what should I do?

    Moreover my letter of agreement states that “upon completing a year of employment I get a ticket home”. I didn’t complete the 12 months but they grant me a ticket few months ago. Now that I am leaving the company, since I haven’t completed the 12 months (my third year) they asking me to cover the entire costs of the ticket. Since I worked for 10 months instead of 12 months I am asking to apply a pro-rata.
    BUT should they not provide me anyway whit ticket home as per labor law?
    please help!

  7. Hi,
    I started my contract with a company in Dubai Internet city 2 years ago. After my probation period, I got a raise on my salary, but this was not documented. After that I received my salary for 23 months, the company decided to remove this raise and ask me for the money backwards. Does anyone know the law on this part?
    Thanks for your help

  8. I want to understand what the true gratuity is if anyone can help.
    my understanding is that all salary is to be considered in the gratuity calculations, does this include a housing allowance or transport allowance which is paid monthly?
    Secondly how is the actual calculation made

    i have worked for over three years and i am entitled to 66.51 days pay total. how i s gratuity calculated
    my understanding is basic pay +allowances x 12 x 66.51 / 260.

    my company is saying it should be basic pay x 12 x 66.51 / 365

    obviously this makes a big difference, i don’t understand why divide by 365, i get paid for the actual days I work which are defined in my contract (260)

    any comments gratefully recieved

  9. mohd azim says:

    i am working with my company last 7 years can i keep my my passport with me.

    • Hello,
      As I last checked it is illegal for anyone to take passports, it generally belongs to your embassy, and your manager has no rights to take them, I suggest you check up and contact your embassy regarding this.

  10. Can you clarify for me please, that despite working for one year on a fixed term contract for a Free Zone company that your are still entitled to a Gratuity payment at the end of the contract and you should have accrued paid holiday after 6mths?

    As I have been told that this is not the case on a one year contract hence why the company issue them but all I have read on Labour Law suggests this is not the case.

    Many thanks

  11. hello,

    in few days i got got a job but still my residency visa was not transferred, yesterday i saw with my manager the employees passports, so i asked him. ” do we get our passports back after you make the employment visa or it stays with you?” he said DMCC keeps the passport with them and they give us cards instead. Isn’t that illegal to do since DMCC is Dubai Multi Commodities Center. please i need quick reply before i decide to leave it.
    thank you

  12. Dear Sir,

    I am working as a Secretary to Director (Marketing) in a trading organization located in Bur Dubai, Dubai, since May 2010. Suddenly my Director told me to search another job by giving me 3 months time. So how can I proceed? If I got NOC from my company, is there any ban on me to get another job? or if NOC not provided, how much amount i have to pay for change my employment visa.

    Please clarify per return.



  13. I am 57 years old female worked in 2 different services firm for the last 30 years insurance and travel would love the opportunity to move and work inthe UAE as my family child and grand child live their …

    Is age an issue?? and can I work until 65 ?? I have noticed all references saying age 18 to 60 does that mean no foreign workers after 60?? do school have eeception as I have a teaching credential and would love to share it with children at choueifat or other schools ???

    any advise or idea please ??

    Jina Roth

  14. Md mahfujur Rahman says:


    Actually i am doing manpower recruiting business worldwide kindly advice me how i will find out of UAE recruiting agency and establishment company for manpower supplying.

  15. Dear…

    Sir or Maam
    or my muslim brother or my sister
    my husband is uae national working in Dubai
    his boss is having diffrent nationality and he always abusing and using bad words for him infront of my husband’s staff and others,my husband is well mannered loyal towards his work he dose’nt want go any other company because he is working in same company from last 19 years, i gave him advice that he can complain in police on make a legal case on him but my husband says no one is going to help me i know because this issue is in management and he complaint about him so many times to his VP and HR but all are same … how this going to be solve any solution please let me know

    Thanks for reading …

    Im waiting for your advice and comments

    Rgds:- Maryam

  16. right now i am on visit visa and it ill be expired on dec 19 , i got a job on last month 27th and i got offer letter as well they gave my original passport to given a proof letter for original passport lik ( the name of mohamed passport we hold for changin visa ) …still i m waiting for visa changin if suppose they company didnt offer a job. can i demand the company to labour court with the offer letter and passport proof letter . is it possible to move on labour court .. can any one advise me plz

  17. ihave uae valid visa and i visited india but unfortunatly i need cancell my visa and i can not provide my passport
    can you give me an idea after this cancellation if i want to visit uae immidietly can i?

  18. Hello Everyone,

    My husband is working in a company and wants to get another part-time job. Is it legal for him to do so? Any conditions apply?

    Please reply soon.


  19. dear sir,

    I am working in probhation period of 6 month.i want to resign this job.any problem for my future.
    iam resigning due to my pesonel reason.please help me.i am indian

  20. ON 2010 i worked in a RAK company for 5 months, emergency i had to come back to my mother land and i could not go back to Rak. BUT NOW i wanted to go back to dubai. when i check with the new employer they said you have to Cancel the visa with previous employer. Then when I check with my previous company they asked me to pay AED 1080/= what i want to know how much do they normally charge for a visa cancellation?

    Thank you.

  21. mohammad asif says:

    My name is asif and i worked with a company which was in jafza free zone in dubai.but i left the company before completing 6 month and now i am in india.i am planing to go to dubai on visit visa in search of employment i would like to know can i join any company if i got a job there?


  22. im already working for a fmcg company n planning to change my job just because of pressure a no salary arrousals it have been 1 year now but i have signed a 3 year contract with the company.i want to know can i do this and if i do it will i be banned or not.plz let me know soon.

  23. I am working in a private company for just 5 there any ban if I will resign because I cannot handle the jobs they’ve given to me which is not corrspond to my offer letter..

    thanks..please I need answer..

  24. Hi I Enter on new visa on date 07-02-2012 my medical still not have done and also not stamp visa on my passport the visa type is enter permit so can i cancel my visa without 6 months ban? kindly reply me

  25. can any one advise me, i worked for a company in UAE for last 7 years, i recently resigned and now i’m under notice period , my company is refusing to give my experience letter and they are saying that they will only issue experience letter addressing to a company name which i will be joining future.
    can any one tell me how can U.A.E labour law can help me on this.

  26. Ranjith kumar says:

    Can anyone provide me a agency that take care for fresher jobs in dubai for indians. I am a fresher Information Technology with CCNA certified.