Employment in the UAE

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On last September, a normalization agreement of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Israel has been signed.

This agreement announces, among other things, the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the countries, an exchange of ambassadors, direct flights, and primarily – a declaration on collaborations in many areas of the business sector, including: tourism, security, technology, energy, health, culture and more.

Following the joyous declaration, an economic gateway to promote business relations between the countries has been opened. Today, Israeli business owners are given a golden opportunity to expand their business activity to countries in the UAE.

Adecco Israel is a business solution management company that helps many companies in dozens of countries worldwide, including the Emirates.

What are the unique characteristics of the labor market in the Emirates? How to hire employees in the UAE? These questions and more will be answered in this following article.


Special characteristics of the UAE labor market

Aside from many business opportunities that exist in the Emirates, Israelis operating from UAE will gain easier access to many countries around the world. In addition to the neighboring Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates – and the port of Dubai in particular – act as a bridge that allows easy access to many countries in Asia and Africa.

Almost 90% of UAE’s population consists of foreign residents, and according to the labor laws, it is prohibited for foreigners to hold a position in the public sector.

In terms of the nature of business in the Emirates, there is an emphasis on mutual trust between the sides in the negotiation process. In most cases, the trust is more important than what the contract says.

Often after signing a contract, it remains open to further negotiations. It is recommended to put some time into creating and nurturing personal connections with local associates.

Unlike the Israeli tendency to “round corners”, in the UAE no one will do business before receiving all of the required certifications, so there is no use in trying to find easy shortcuts.


How to hire employees in the UAE?

The United Arab Emirates is a country in which the labor law combines Muslim and Western legal systems. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with every aspect of the local legal system.

Unlike most countries, most of the employees in the UAE labor market are foreign residents. As a result, these employees must get a residence visa and a work permit in order to live and work in the Emirates, and the company that employs them must be their sponsor.

In most cases it requires a long and complex process, which is why Adecco Israel’s accessible and professional services can be very useful.


Here are some basic guidelines for hiring employees in the UAE

Establishment of a legal entity:

in order to receive a business license in the UAE, it is required to act through a legal entity. The process of establishing a legal entity takes between 8-12 weeks, and in that time, companies are unable to sponsor the work permits of employees with whom they signed employment agreements.



It is customary that the salaries are more than nominal wage, which means including payment for accommodation, transportation and so on.


Work week: 

The working week is conducted the same way as the Israeli market. Work week starts from Sunday through Thursday, while Friday and Saturday are regularly days off.


Severance pay: 

Starting from the second year of employment and through the fifth year, an employee is entitled to severance pay in the amount of 21 days for each year of employment. For each additional year, the employee is entitled to severance pay in the amount of 30 days of employment.


The process of employment in the United Arab Emirates

The first and most important step in the process of hiring employees is due diligence. Unrelated to the method of employment – whether it is employment, payroll or outsourcing – it is recommended to give special attention to this step, where the candidate’s background is checked, including his professional experience, reputation, and compliance with local regulatory requirements.

Aside from the importance of finding employees who are suited for the job, in some sectors there are regulatory requirements that the employer must comply with regarding his obligations to his employees. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure everything is done according to law. 

Adecco Israel performs in-depth and comprehensive due diligence for its clients, in a way that ensures compliance with all the local regulatory requirements.


The main steps in the employment process

Licensing and bureaucracy:

Before employees can be hired in the Emirates, a business that wants to operate must have a work permit and an immigration visa from the Emirati ministry of labor.


Compliance with the labor law requirements:

The UAE is not a democratic country, and its labor laws are very strict. Furthermore, employers are obligated to provide their employees with documents that provide medical coverage in government facilities. Labor law includes explicit restrictions on the maximum working hours per day and per week, the minimal amount of vacation and sick days, maternity leave, etc.


Preliminary employment agreement: 

A written contract is required in the private sector. Each contract must include the job definition and a conclusion of the labor laws that are relevant in the region. The employment agreement must be drafted in Arabic and English. In order to receive an official confirmation for an employment relationship, both sides must sign the contract and submit it to the authorities.


Changing employment relationship:

After signing an employment agreement, it is prohibited to change any of the terms without explicit consent of both parties.


Clear understanding of the preliminary agreement:

The employer is required to make sure the employee understood all of the terms he has signed on. If it turns out that this requirement has not been executed properly, the employer is subject to a 20,000 dirham fine (which is around 5,400 USD).


Obtaining work permits:

After signing the agreement, the preliminary agreement is submitted to the authority that oversees providing work permits. These permits are given based on the content of the agreement.


Signing the full employment agreement:

The full employment agreement should be drafted based on the preliminary employment agreement that was submitted to the authorities.


Hiring employees with Adecco Israel

Since it is an established and experienced company in this field, Adecco Israel can help your company expand its business activity to the Emirates efficiently and with maximum security.

Adecco Israel is a business solution management company that helps many clients in 66 countries worldwide, including the UAE. Adecco Israel is a representative of the global Adecco group, who provides various services to its clients; such as market surveys, financial advice, recruitment and placement services, employment services, Payroll services, outsourcing etc.

Adecco Israel eliminates its clients’ need to establish a legal entity in a foreign country – where usually Israeli business owners lack professional experience – while ensuring the business meets all of the local regulation requirements. 

Due to Adecco’s expertise in different markets in many countries, Adecco promises its clients the ultimate service that allows them to efficiently develop professionally in the target country, while fully operating the business necessities required by the client. Since every business require different needs, Adecco has a wide range of business solutions that can suit every company different business need.

With the help of its services, Adecco allows its clients to devote their precious time and resources to manage their business’s core needs, while Adecco takes care of all necessary areas required by the company – operationally, administratively and financially – in an individual, professional and safe manner.

Your success is our success!

Contact us and we will help your company expand its activity successfully to the United Arab Emirates!

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