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What you need to know when you
get a Job in the United Arab Emirates
The Hiring Process when you apply
for a job through a web site online
in an online recruitment process, the employers
will get in touch with you directly via email, letter or
phone. It is quite common for employers to fly
potential employees above a certain seniority level out
to the Middle East. Some companies prefer
candidates to travel at their own expense and some
international companies may hold interviews in your home
country. It is up to an applicant to negotiate these
details with the potential employer.
are required to fly down to meet with the prospective
employer, please make absolutely sure there is
a written understanding between both parties about who
covers the travel expenses. At the
very least, you must try to get a faxed agreement (not an e-mail!)
from the employer about your traveling expenses for an
interview. A visitor visa is issued for Canadian, US or
European citizens on arrival, but other countries may
require a visa prior to transit. Check with your local
embassy or travel agent.
have a written job confirmation from an
employer in Dubai, your
company of employment or sponsor (a sponsor is someone
who legally vouches for you - usually, your employer)
will undertake you and your familys paperwork
The outline given below covers only private sector
employees. Public sector employees (government
workers) and people working in the Free Zones are
subject to different employment rules, and the Labour Law
is not applicable to them.
The paper work for private sector employees will proceed
in three stages -
One: Before entering the UAE
In order to apply for your entry visa, your
prospective employer will ask you to send them the
following standard documents.
Education or degree certificate/s
If you are a degree holder, you must have your
certificates attested by a public notary in your home
country and then by the Foreign Affairs Office to verify
the notary as bona fide. The UAE Embassy or Consulate
in your home country must also attest the documents.
You may be able to outsource this to your travel agent.
Note: Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) countries and British nationals with the right of
abode in the UK do not need attestation and visas to
enter the UAE. Although, in some cases, UK citizens might
be required to get an attestation from the UAE Consulate.
Two: While entering the UAE
A copy of your entry visa will be sent to you by your
employer. You will enter the UAE by exchanging this
document with the original, which will be deposited by
your employer at the airport of arrival.
Three: After entering the UAE
Once you join the company, your employer will apply for
the following necessary documents for you - Health Card,
Residence Visa, Labour Card
a) Health Card
Health card includes a medical test (children under 18 do
not have to undergo this test) that consists of a blood
test (for AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.) and chest X-ray (for TB,
etc). This card entitles residents to free medical
treatment at public hospitals.
b) Residence Visa
There are two types of residence visa:
Sponsored by the employer for employment (Employer
Sponsored by a family member for residency (Family
The employer generally takes care of all the
paperwork. Just supply the necessary documents, which are
normally the same that you submitted for the entry visa.
c) Labour Card
The Labour Card is essential for anyone working in
the Emirates and is issued by their employer.
Before a Labour card is issued, you would need to sign
Contract, which is a standard form issued by the Labour
Authorities and completed with your details of
Labour Contract is printed in both Arabic and
English. It is advisable to have a translation of
the Contract made, since the Arabic part
is taken as the legal document in the event of
any legal dispute.
Labour cards and residence visas are renewable
and valid for three
years in the case of private
companies and five years for government
organisations. If you are a qualified
professional with a degree, or have an
established employment history, there should be
few difficulties in obtaining the necessary
is usual for the employer to retain an employee's
The Importance of the Résumé
contact point between a potential employer or
his recruiter and a candidate is generally the
résumé and your cover letter. Thus, the
quality of presenting yourself to a potential
employer or an executive recruiter is crucial in
your job search. Remember, you have, maybe, 5
minutes to convince your counterpart, when he looks at
your résumé, that you are the person
for the job. That is why having a top professionally
written résumé is an important
are numerous good résumé writing
services available to help you create the right format.
You can find some of the ones we have tested at our Resume
Advice Page .
should also look at our Interview
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Go to Oilcareer.com
A short Summary of Labour Laws
in the United Arab Emirates
by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs,
Labour Law in the UAE is loosely based on the International
Labour Organization's (ILO) model. UAE Law No. 8
of 1980, as amended by Law No. 12 of 1986 (the
"Labour Law") governs most aspects of
employer/employee relations, such as hours of work,
leave, termination rights, medical benefits and
repatriation. The Labour Law is protective of employees
in general and overrides conflicting contractual
provisions agreed under another jurisdiction, unless they
are beneficial to the employee.
The Ministry issues a model form of labour
contract in Arabic which is widely used, but
other forms of contract are enforceable, provided they
comply with the Labour Law. End of contract gratuities
are set at 21 days pay for every year of the first five
years of service and 30 days for every year thereafter.
Total gratuity should not exceed two years' wages.
Employees are entitled to pro-rated amounts for service
periods less than a full year, provided they have
completed one year in continuous service.
Trade unions do not exist. In the
case of a dispute between employer and employee, or in
interpretation of the Labour Law, the Ministry of Labour
and Social Affairs will initially act as an adjudicator,
in an effort to resolve matters. If a party wishes to
appeal any such decision it can take its case to court.
Strikes and lock outs are forbidden.
The normal maximum working hours are eight per
day or 48 per week. However, these hours may
be increased to nine daily for people working in the
retail trade, hotels, restaurants and other such
establishments. Similarly, daily working hours may be
reduced for difficult or dangerous jobs. Many businesses
work on a two shift system (for example, 8am - 1pm and
4pm - 7pm). As in all Muslim countries, Friday is the
weekly day of rest. In practice, commercial and
professional firms work 40-45 hours a week and government
ministries about 35. The weekend for
office workers has traditionally been Thursday afternoon
and Friday, but a number of organizations have changed
over to a five day week with Friday and Saturday as the
weekend. During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, normal
working hours are reduced by two hours per day.
There are 10 days of public holidays (paid) in any year. The
employee's annual leave is two days for every month if
his service is more than six months and less than a year.
In every completed year of service after the first, an
employee is entitled to 30 days annual paid leave.
This is in addition to public holidays, maternity leave
for women and sick leave.
Overtime is used extensively and additional pay is
required for manual and lower ranking staff.
Federal Authorities are primarily responsible
for all immigration matters, and visitors are advised to
consult their nearest UAE embassy or consulate if in
doubt about visa requirements. Information can also be
obtained from the overseas offices of the Department of
Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
In general, all visitors, except transit
passengers who do not leave the airport on arrival and
citizens of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council states -
Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia - must
obtain visas sponsored by a local entity such as a hotel,
company or travel and tourism firm to enter the UAE. However,
British citizens with the right of abode in the UK and
AGCC residents of certain qualifying nationalities and
professions are issued automatic 30 day visas on arrival.
German and US citizens may obtain multiple entry visas
from UAE Embassies.
Visas are easily obtainable for other visitors except
for Israelis and travellers whose passports bear Israeli
A business visitor may enter Dubai with either a transit
visa or a visit visa. Both types of visa require the
sponsorship of a company or hotel licensed to operate
within the UAE.
A transit visa entitles its holder to a stay of 14 days
exclusive of arrival and departure days. A visitor
planning a longer stay in the UAE may prefer to enter the
country with a visit visa which entitles him to a stay of
30 days renewable twice up to a total of 100 days
including a grace period of 10 days. A visit visa further
entitles its holder to change his status to that of
residence or employment provided certain conditions are
met. A visa holder may enter and leave the country
through any port of entry in the UAE.
Airlines may require confirmation that the sponsor is
holding a valid visa for the incoming visitor.