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Hiring & Recruiting in AeUnited Arab Emirates.






Country Capital

Abu Dhabi


UAE dirham (AED)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a large workforce for international companies to tap into. If a company is considering establishing a new subsidiary, they will need to find top talent to fill the open positions while following United Arab Emirates employment compliance laws. To recruit talent for an international team, an understanding of the business culture in the UAE is also needed.

Recruiting in the UAE

Before hiring in the UAE, companies will need to ensure that they’re making the most of their time by using 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. However, social media is gaining popularity as a way for qualified professionals to connect with prospective employers. Employers may want to spend some time updating the company’s pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

Laws against discrimination in the UAE

As the employer, the duty to comply with anti-discrimination laws begins as soon as recruiting begins. 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:

  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Race
  • Color
  • Martial status
  • Religion
  • Social origin
  • Mental or physical disability

Under UAE law, employers are also obliged to give preference in recruitment to UAE nationals.

Employers can take a few steps to ensure they comply with these regulations during recruitment. These include being mindful of the language that’s used in job advertisements and making sure not to mention desired traits unless legitimate requirements of the job.

Employers should also avoid asking about protected characteristics during the recruitment process. Let the candidate lead the discussion when it comes to personal factors.

How to hire employees in the United Arab Emirates

To hire expatriate employees, the UAE requires employers to submit an employment contract before turning in an application for visa sponsorship. The contract required depends on where the company is located in the UAE but may be a simple template in Arabic. However, companies should consider adding specific terms such as benefits, compensation, and termination requirements. A strong employment contract written in both English and Arabic can help ensure both the employer and the employee agree to clear and detailed terms, protecting the company and employee in the event of a termination.

In February 2022, the UAE made significant changes to its employment laws. Among these changes was the requirement that all employees be hired under fixed-term contracts only. Indefinite contracts are not permitted, and any existing unlimited contract was required to be switched to a fixed-term one by December 31, 2023.

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 G-P, we can ensure that you have access to the talent that you need in the UAE, regardless of entity status.

UAE employment laws

It is a legal requirement that all employees working for the company have the appropriate visas and work permits.

As of January 1, 2022, the UAE implemented a 4.5-day workweek for government employees, moving its weekend from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday. The typical work hours for government employees run from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with Friday’s hours shortened to 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Most private sector companies have adapted to this change.

Private companies’ working hours can vary. Normal working hours must not exceed 8 hours per day or 48 per week. Overtime is permitted up to 2 additional hours per day, paid at 25% of their normal hourly rate or 50% when overtime occurs between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. During Ramadan, the UAE’s local laws stipulate reduced working hours by 2 hours each day.

Onboarding in the United Arab Emirates

Onboarding employees is a process that differs for every company. Employers can choose what onboarding procedures are best for their employees, but we recommend going over the employment contract with new employees during their first day or first week. In advance, it may be prudent to put together any training or documents employees will need to succeed in their new roles.

Grow globally with G-P.

G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With the #1 Global Growth Platform™, you have the recruitment tools and services you need to find your perfect full-time or contract match.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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