United Arab Emirates flag United Arab Emirates: Operating a Business in the United Arab Emirates

Work conditions in the United Arab Emirates

The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 6,753,1436,834,7486,820,222

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 82.99%82.80%82.76%
Men activity rate 94.09%93.95%94.06%
Women activity rate 53.23%53.16%52.90%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
For Further Statistics
Dubai Statistics Centre
For Further Information About the Labour Market
The National Human Resource Development & Employment Authority

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
8 hours per day, 9 hours for employees of hotels and restaurants. During the month of Ramadan, the daily work duration is reduced by two hours for Muslim employees.
Retirement Age
60 years, 55 years for women working in the public sector and 65 years for judges.
Working Contracts
Work contracts are framed by the law and if desired by individual negotiation.
Labour contract formalities are extremely rigid. Procedures for hiring and dismissals are easy. Contract duration should not exceed 4 years, and is renewable by mutual consent.
Labour Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labour regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
There was no minimum salary stipulated in the previous UAE Labour Law, however it broadly mentions that salaries must cover basic needs of the employees. A new Labour Law came into force in Fevruary 2022, which will set a minimum wage for employees in the private sector.
Average Wage
The average wage varies a lot depending on Emirates and even within them. A person working in United Arab Emirates typically earns around 19,600 AED per month (Salary Explorer, 2022).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: Please note that social security contributions are applicable in the UAE only for UAE nationals, and nationals of the GCC. If UAE/ GCC nationals are employed, then both the employer and the employee will be required to make social security contributions to the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA). A payment of 12.5% by the employer (15% if the employer is a public entity). Emirati nationals have free access to healthcare.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: Employees who are UAE nationals pay a 5% contribution which is deducted from their salary. Emirati nationals have free access to healthcare. Foreign employees are recommended to subscribe to an additional insurance.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Trade unions are banned in the UAE.
Unions
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
Labour Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation

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Latest Update: June 2022

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