Employment Issues in the United Arab Emirates


The purpose of this memorandum is to summarise employment issues arising in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This note focuses on the UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 (the Labour Law). It also describes the employment law that applies in the Dubai International Finance Centre (the DIFC) in Dubai.


Prior to commencing any work in the UAE, all non-UAE nationals must obtain a work permit and residency visa which enables them to live and work in the country. These documents are obtained via sponsorship with an employer (or local sponsor) which is licensed and registered with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (the Ministry of Labour). A residency visa is usually tied to the employment visa application and will allow the employee the right to reside and work in the UAE for the duration of his/her employment only. The UAE has designated a number of Free Zone areas to provide exemption from many UAE laws to encourage foreign investment. If an employee is employed by an organisation which is based in a Free Zone, such as the DIFC, the free zone authority will be the sponsoring entity.

Please see full memorandum below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Latham & Watkins LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Latham & Watkins LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.