UAE Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a large workforce for foreign companies to tap into. If you are considering setting up a new subsidiary, you will need to find top talent to fill your open positions while following United Arab Emirates employment compliance laws. As you recruit talent for your international team, you’ll also need an understanding of the culture and business etiquette in the UAE.
Globalization Partners can help by giving you access to local talent in days. We hire employees and assign their services to you, while they work on our locally compliant payroll and ensure that we meet all of the UAE’s labor laws.
Recruiting in the UAE
If you’re not used to spending time in the Middle East, you may find it challenging to adapt to the culture in the United Arab Emirates. A basic understanding of the country’s culture and business etiquette will go a long way toward helping as you begin the process of staffing and recruiting for your international team. Keep the following guidelines in mind throughout the recruitment process.
1. Dress Conservatively
In the UAE, it’s essential for both men and women to dress conservatively — especially in the workplace and other professional settings. Men should always wear a suit and tie, preferably in dark colors. Women should wear suits or skirts with hemlines that fall below the knee. Failure to dress appropriately might draw attention from local residents in the UAE, and it will almost certainly make for a poor impression with prospective employees.
2. Respect Cultural Food Restrictions
If you plan to invite prospective candidates or new hires to a meal, you should be mindful of their dietary preferences. The UAE is a predominantly Muslim country. The majority of people in the country will not drink alcohol or eat pork, so you should avoid serving these items if you are acting as a host. The same etiquette applies if you go to a restaurant. Many local businesses will not have alcohol or pork on the menu. If they do, however, you should avoid ordering these dishes out of respect.
3. Take Time to Build Trust
During your initial meetings with potential hires in the UAE, take the time to get to know the candidate and build a relationship with them. It’s considered polite to ask about the well-being of a person’s family, although you should take care to avoid asking any direct questions about the candidate’s wife or daughters. You should also stay away from overly specific inquiries that could point toward employer discrimination.
A Look at the Recruitment Process in the UAE
Understanding the culture is critical when you’re recruiting employees in a new country, but it’s just as important to familiarize yourself with the practical side of the staffing process. Before you begin staffing in the UAE, you’ll need to ensure that you’re making the most of your time by utilizing the best recruitment channels.
Many employers in the United Arab Emirates rely on recruitment agencies and advertisements posted on their company websites. These methods can be effective. That said, social media is gaining popularity as a way for qualified professionals to connect with prospective employers. You may want to spend some time updating your company’s pages on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Laws Against Discrimination During the Recruitment Process
As the employer, your duty to comply with anti-discrimination law begins as soon as you start the recruitment process. The UAE has several laws in place to ensure fair treatment throughout the hiring process and in the workplace. Much of the recent legislation focuses on preventing gender-based discrimination. In the UAE, employers cannot discriminate against candidates based on:
- Martial status
- Mental or physical disability
You can take a few steps to ensure that your company is compliant with these regulations during the recruitment process. First, you should be mindful of the language you use in your job advertisements, making sure you don’t mention traits you’re looking for in a prospective employee unless they’re legitimate requirements of the job.
You should also avoid asking about protected characteristics during the recruitment process. It’s okay to have a conversation about a candidate’s family, but do not ask about their marital status. Let the candidate lead the discussion when it comes to personal factors.
How to Hire Employees in the United Arab Emirates
If you are going to hire expatriate employees, the UAE requires employers to submit an employment contract before turning in an application for visa sponsorship. The contract you use depends on where your business is located in the UAE, but may be a simple template in Arabic. However, we recommend you add other terms such as benefits, compensation, and termination requirements. A strong employment contract written in both English and Arabic can help ensure both you and the employee agree to specific terms and protect your subsidiary in the event of a termination.
United Arab Emirates employment compliance can prove tricky. Typically, companies establish a branch office or a subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or in a free trade zone to sponsor work permits and hire employees.
If you choose to work with Globalization Partners, we can ensure that you have access to that talent that you need in the UAE.
United Arab Emirates Employment Compliance
Make sure all employees working for your company have the appropriate visas and work permits. If an employee lives and works in the UAE without a visa, he or she will be asked to leave the country. This matter of compliance could lead to both your company and the employee in question to become blacklisted from working in the UAE.
Once you hire United Arab Emirates employees, you will still need to ensure their compliance throughout their employment term. Employees usually work Sunday through Thursday and have a mandated day off on Friday. The typical work hours for government employees are from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but private companies can vary those hours and remain compliant. During Ramadan, the UAE’s local laws stipulate reduced working hours by two hours each day.
How to Onboard Employees
Onboarding employees is a process that differs for every company. You can choose what onboarding procedures are best for your employees, but we recommend going over the employment contract with new workers during their first day or first week. In advance, put together any training or documents employees will need to succeed in their new roles.
Benefits of United Arab Emirates Local Consulting Services
Before you can have access to talent in the UAE, you will either have to set up a local subsidiary to hire employees or work with a company whose employees can provide service to you in the UAE. By choosing United Arab Emirates to retain services with Globalization Partners, we can help you start working faster. While setting up a subsidiary on your own could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, Globalization Partners can get your project started within days.
Why Work With Globalization Partners?
Globalization Partners can hire United Arab Emirates employees who will provide the services your company needs to succeed. Contact us today to learn more.