UAE Labour Law Essentials Everyone Must Know

Before you move into the UAE for employment, know all there is to know about the laws of this country. Since it’s a place that has very different and strict customs and traditions, it’s vital for all those who aren’t familiar to know the essentials.

To help you get started, let’s take a look at some sections of the UAE labour law that are going to help you:

Annual Leaves

For starters, particularly those who haven’t completed the first six months of their employment, the probation period doesn’t allow any paid leaves.

After you’ve completed the first six months, you’ll have 2 days of paid leaves per month. Whereas, once you’ve been in employment for a year, you’ll have 30 days for the whole year to choose as you see fit. The number of days and the consecutive duration for which you can get paid leaves can vary from company to company depending upon their policies.

Apart from this, you get a day off for the new year, 4 days of Eid Al Fitr, 1 day of Arafat day, 3 days of Eid Al Adha, 1 day off for Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year) and lastly, 3 days off from the 1st to 3rd December for National Day and Commemoration Day.

Types of Contracts

In the UAE, you’re either hired on an unlimited or a limited contract.

Limited Contract

To start with, let’s take a look at the limited contract. This is the agreement that has a set duration that usually falls in line with the employee’s residential visa expiration. As per the UAE law, employers and employees can terminate these contracts if they can provide the remainder period’s remuneration, including wages, allowances, etc.

This goes both ways and if you’re seeking to terminate a limited contract, you should consider it seriously as you’ll have to compensate the employer for the remainder period.

Unlimited Contract

Secondly, we have an unlimited contract which has no set term, rather, it’s open to changes as per the situation demands, subject to legal terms of course.

This is the most common type of contract as it isn’t dependent upon a certain project or deadline. The terms for the employment, however, do include certain scenarios in which the contract can be terminated legally. In such a case, it’s the cause of the termination that decides how things will proceed.

If you’re terminated based on valid reasons such as performance issues, your employer is legally obliged to provide a 30-day notice. Similarly, if an employee is looking to end the contract early, they need to provide a 30-day notice to the employer as well. (The duration of the notice can be more if it has been specified under the contract)

If you’ve been terminated under one of the 11 exhaustive gross misconduct reasons set out in the Articles 88 and 120 of the Labour Law, you’ll have no prior notice nor service gratuity.


There are more terms and conditions such as the number of working hours that the state allows, the working environment, etc. that you should know. However, since it’s impossible to go over everything, it’s best if you hire one of the best lawyers in Dubai to help you. Needless to say, in a foreign land with strict laws, it’s better to have legal counsel rather than landing yourself in troubled waters. 

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