Overview of Employment in the UAE

Welcome to our new Middle East employment knowledge centre, helping to explain employment, visas and some useful (hopefully!) information about living in the Middle East.

We will be releasing new topics of interest weekly so follow us on LinkedIn here.  

In this first section we hope to give a general overview of what to expect from your first job in the UAE and a refresher for those who are considering a move and what to expect as the on boarding process changes rapidly.

Length of visa – Up until recently there were only three types of UAE residence visa.

1.       Investor visa – obtained by purchasing property in the UAE or owning a business in a Freezone

2.       Mainland or LLC visa – 2 year visa for employees working in companies outside of freezones

3.       Freezone visa – 3 year visa for employees working in UAE freezones

There is now the opportunity for certain professionals, investors and foreign nationals to obtain longer term visas for up to ten years, however on the whole the visa length is either two or three years.

Employment Contracts – Any contract issued by the Ministry of Labour is non-negotiable with the exception of remuneration and in some cases annual leave entitlements.

However on the whole local employment contracts are relatively standard (We will cover employment contracts in a separate update).

The main criteria include:

·         A minimum of 22 days annual leave plus UAE national holidays (8), giving a national minimum holiday entitlement of 30

·         Breakdown of salary can vary but the total amount is considered the all-inclusive package however this is broken down. Basic salary, accommodation allowance and in some cases transportation allowance make up this figure.

·         Annual flight allowance can be different from company to company, but after 12 months service an annual flight or allowance paid monthly to your native country is normal.

Documents required – For those of you starting your first job in the UAE it is important to check with your employer what documents may be required to process your visa. If they are processing your visa in country it is a lot easier to have these ready before you leave your home country. These can include, attested degree or professional qualification certificates, proof or salary, proof of home address in native country. Your passport expiry date is also important to consider as it can take longer to process a new one while living in the UAE. This is just a suggestion to make life easier which we will cover further in future topics.

Most nationalities are eligible for employment visas however if you want to check current permissions we recommend the Emirates Airline website click here or Etihad Airlines click here as they are kept up to date.

Thanks for reading the first section of our knowledge centre we hope you found it useful, if you have any suggestions for future topics please contact us via email with the subject new topics here and if you are looking for employment opportunities in the Middle East register on our website to receive notifications and soon as positions matching your experience become available www.earecruit.ae