Dubai Salary Details and Negotiation Tips

What is my basic salary? Is it a minimum wage?

There is no provision for minimum wages in the UAE Federal Labour Law, nor has the Emirate of Dubai instituted any such law. Your basic salary is a negotiated rate stipulated in your labour contract. This amount is important because it is the basis of your end-of-service gratuity pay. When you receive salary increases, it is to your best interest to make sure you receive a formal notice of the increase, i.e. in writing, and that the Department of Labour is duly notified.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai offer similar wages for comparative positions, i.e., office secretaries for small businesses are normally granted a compensation package within an expected range. More established organizations, such as multinational corporations (MNCs) with offshore locations in Dubai negotiate salaries within their company’s pre-existing scales.

What points must I remember in salary negotiations?

As stated several times in this website, there is no minimum wage law in the UAE and salary is a negotiated price between you and your prospective employer. Report to an interview prepared to haggle. Haggling is a huge part of UAE salary negotiation and you’d do well to get used to it. Learn how to sell yourself effectively and convincingly. Do your research to get a feel of the going rates. However, keep in mind that what you’d finally get depends on what the employer perceives to be your value to the company.

When haggling, remember that the salary rate stipulated in your contract holds throughout the term of that particular contract. Increases in salary rates are not guaranteed. Dubai employers do not give 13th- month cheques or annual increases as is the case in countries where minimum wage laws exist.

What makes up a basic salary/compensation package in Dubai and the UAE?

Here are items that the law mandates to be included in an employee’s compensation package include the following:

  • Basic salary
  • 30-day annual paid leave (21 for the first year)
  • Government medical insurance (some companies provide private insurance coverage after probationary period).
  • Recruitment and visa-processing fees and other associated costs. Some employers may attempt to have you agree to have these costs deducted from your pay so beware. Note however, that repatriation costs may be legally taken off of your final pay, especially if you abscond or fail to complete your contract term.
  • Gratuity pay
  • Return flight to your home country at the end of your contract.

What other benefits or perks may be negotiated?

  • Relocation assistance
  • Private medical insurance
  • Annual return tickets
  • Accommodation and transportation allowances
  • Vehicle allowance
  • Mobile phone allowance
  • Furnishing (for accommodation) allowance
  • Food allowance

There are other benefit types that could be negotiated. Some employers provide some of these additional perks, but rarely would an employer grant you everything you want. However, don’t be afraid to ask and haggle. Haggling is a huge part of the local culture. Negotiation is a skill you’d do well to acquire soon.

What is Gratuity Pay?

Gratuity or end-of-service benefit is the equivalent of severance pay in other countries. It is given as an end-of service benefit to employees who successfully complete their contracts. As there are no provisions for pension contributions for expatriate employees in the UAE, gratuity pay is mandatory. It serves as further encouragement to employees to stay with their employers until the expiration of their contracts.

How do I get entitled to gratuity pay?

  • If your employment is lawfully terminated, you’re not entitled to any gratuity pay. (Click here for grounds for dismissal).
  • If you are working on a limited contract, successful completion of the term entitles you to gratuity upon expiration;
  • If you are working on an unlimited contract, you must complete
At least But less than To be entitled to gratuity pay
1 3 1/3
3 5 2/3
5 - Full

How is my gratuity pay calculated?

Gratuity pay is based on your last or most recent basic salary per records appearing in the Department of Labour. This figure is clearly marked as basic salary in your labour contract and does not include allowances and benefits, as those are clearly designated as such.

Your gratuity pay is equivalent to your 21-day pay for each year of service for the first 5 years and 30-day pay for every year thereafter. For convenience, assume a 30-day month for calculation.

21/30 of your monthly pay, multiplied by the number of years you have served your employer, for the first five years; plus
30/30 of your monthly pay, multiplied by, the number of years you have served your employer minus five years.

Illustration: Assume the following

Monthly basic salary per records: AED 10,000
Number of years worked with present employer: 10

Gratuity Pay = (21/30 x AED 10,000 x 5) + (30/30 x AED 10,000 x (10-5))
= AED 35,000 + AED 50,000
= AED 85,000

Is there a limit to the amount a dedicated employee can receive as gratuity pay?

Yes, there is. The total gratuity pay an employee receives should not exceed the equivalent of a 24-month (two years) pay. In the above example, the maximum amount the employee may receive is AED 240, 000 (24 x AED 10,000). This means that if the employee above has served for 25 years or more, he only gets AED 240,000 in gratuity pay.

Illustration: Assume the following:
Monthly basic salary per records: AED 10,000
Number of years worked with present employer: 30

Gratuity Pay Computation = (21/30 x AED 10,000 x 5) + (30/30 x AED 10,000 x (30-5))
= AED 35,000 + AED 250,000
= AED 285,000
Actual Gratuity Pay (amount the employee receives): AED 240,000

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  1. Danish Shah Tariq says:

    Thank you. This information was really useful.

  2. Great page. Very imformative. Thank you.

  3. this is really useful.thanks a lot

  4. thanks for very usefull information.
    I have some special questions. I have a job offer from an UAE oil & gas company. My taitle will be senior fire officer. Company provides housing and my son’s education and healt insurunce.However I have not any idea about Fujariah and living in UAE. Therefor if some body refer to me about this issues I would be glad. My concerns are;
    what is salary range in Fujariah oil and gas sector.
    what should be lowest valuecof my salar for a good life standart and save many in Fujairah (without housing and education)
    how come ı get shopping costs/ expenses in Fujariah (furniture, electronic home staf, foots…)
    Thanks to all for helping to me I will wait all kind of suggetion from your site

  5. I have a question…

    Early increment on the basic salary would effect the gratuity pay calculation, right?

    Very informative…Keep up the good work

    Best Regards,

  6. Such a nice information that will help negotiating with the employer

  7. ahamed ameen says:

    i am a engineering graduate seeks a job, pls help
    if u have vacency pls contact my mail id

  8. Goodafternoon
    i am a south Arican with a law degree obtained rom here. i want to work as a lawyer in the UAE. do i need to do a conversion degree. Who do i contact to arrange this?

  9. Lovely… thanks a lot for the information

  10. Shahnawaz Aslam says:

    I am an MBA, having 7 years of experience in Administration (INDIA), I am looking for a job in DUBAI, please help me to know how much salary should I expect from Dubai Companies.

  11. Good piece of information. Well done.

  12. Great info available.

    Need some help on this matter. A friend gets paid between 15th to 20th of every month for the previous month. That means after 45 days which is too late. Pls help. Can the Ministry of labour help in this matter.

  13. hi. can you pls educate me on the division of total salary into basic salary and allowances? what is the correct ratio of the two according to the uae labour law? thank you

  14. I am an B,C,A, having 1 years of experience in (INDIA), I am looking for a job in DUBAI, please help me to know how much salary should I expect from Dubai Companies

  15. hi
    am a medical dr (gp) and many private sector employers have asked me to pay for doctor’s practising license fees and medical malpractise insurance fees which they will process in person instead of me. (they said they’ll deduct the amount frm my salary)they said they will only pay for my labour card (i’m on father’s visa). shud i pay them tat fees? if i have to pay tat fees then y do they insist that they’ll process these 2things for me instead of me going?? hoping for your guidance. thanks.

    • Shahnawaz Aslam says:

      Hina G!

      Don’t miss up with these people……find some more options…

      Take care

  16. naushad ahmed says:


    i have given online interview for dubai company from india mumbai.i have sighned the offer letter also which is in english language and i had send them my passport scan copy and scan photo, on that basis they released my employment of issue 9/11/2011… date of expiry 7/11/ bcz of some personal reasos i wont be able to travel and i told that company that i am not traveling becz of personal issues but company is saying that if u not travel you will get ban for 6 months. my question is.. can ill be ban for 6 months? during this period can i join another company in dubai or after my visa get expire or after 6 months ? plz plz reply i am waiting for your reply…thank you.

    • Shahnawaz Aslam says:

      Well Naushad……..

      Yes if they ban on your visa then you can’t enter U.A.E till 6 month….

      Take care

  17. Hi,
    please kindly advise me. what would be my basic salary to work as a senior planner for an oil & gas company located in Dubai. I have 10 years industryexperience and holder of a masters degree.
    I tried to get the company proposed but it insisted that I must quote. (Note that: Insurance, accommodation, transportation, visa are provided)

  18. Thank you for all of the team members who have created this information.. Go ahead with more informative pages..

  19. hi
    I have 4 years of experience in banking, i have got an offer in some bank in dubai with some third party contract
    with 4500AED salary, Is this a gud offer please advice


  20. Shahnawaz Aslam says:

    Well Dude…….
    If you have 4 years of Indian experience then this must be a good star for you in dubai………

    Otherwise wait for some more good opprtunity.

    All the best

  21. i worded last 4.5 years. recently the company terminate me. i have visa for my family from my sponsership. from the company what benifit i will get, than for my family still one more year they the visa i’ll get any insurance from any were pls advise me

  22. Dayo Daniel says:

    if i enter dubai with visiting visa and decided to look for any job, will i be offered any job and if I dont return will i be arrested. How can I stay up to 2 years in duba with visiting visa?

  23. I am working with Free zone company since 2005 now company want to closedown the office. I have visa for my family from my sponsership. from the company what benifit i will get. pls advice me.

  24. SYED MUKHTIAR says:

    ok,wish u good luck and plz guide me also i have come from pakistan to find the banking job my email is i will reamin thankfull to u.

  25. i need ajob in dubai i like secqerety job who can suport me pls help me