Dubai Courts/Labour Laws in the UAE



The significance of labour law is obvious as we all know labour laws play a pivotal role in securing the rights of employees and regulating employer-employee relationships all over the world. Every country has its labour laws according to their needs and requirements to create harmony between the employer and the employee. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai Courts formulated a robust framework of labour laws to ensure fair treatment, job security, and the overall well-being of workers. A large number of foreigners work in this country so understanding UAE labour laws is crucial for both employers and employees to maintain a harmonious work environment and it is the basis of progress in the UAE.

Overview of UAE Labour Laws

 Laws are very important for a smooth and peaceful environment among the people and legislation. It is the only way by which working coordination can be created among the workers. UAE is a developed country accommodating a large community with working opportunities for the locals as well as the foreigners. Dubai Courts have introduced many laws in this country for relations. Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 governs all UAE labour laws and it is also known as the UAE Labour Law. This is a comprehensive legislation for the people that outlines the rights and obligations of both employers and employees and covers various aspects of employment including recruitment, working hours, wages, leave entitlements, termination, dispute resolution, etc.

Provisions of UAE Labour laws by Dubai Courts

Employment Contracts

Before starting work there must be a contract between the employer and the employee for the protection of both parties in case of any conflict in the future. Contracts must be written and signed in Arabic in UAE between employers and employees. Oral commitments are not acceptable in the courts of the country and if such oral commitments are made these are considered illegal and are fully against the country’s laws. However, contracts in other languages may be acceptable if they are translated into Arabic and all the contracts require approval by the relevant authorities of the country. The contract should include all essential details about the employer and the employee to avoid disputes in the future such as job title, duties, remuneration, working hours, probationary period (if any), and termination clauses, etc.

Working Hours and Rest Periods

According to UAE Labour Law, the time duration for the job has been mentioned and the standard working hours for employees should not exceed more than eight hours per day or 48 hours in a week. The law clearly describes all available opportunities given to the employees in this country. Employees have the right to take at least one rest day per week which is typically Friday. This is a general principle and applies to all unless the nature of their work requires otherwise. Overtime work is allowed to workers under specific conditions and must be compensated at a higher rate than normal working hours. 

Wages and Benefits

The labour law of the country clearly describes the wages of the employees in the country. Delay is not acceptable and Dubai Courts strictly bind Employers to pay employees wages in full and on time. Payment is given in UAE Dirhams. If certain conditions are already part of the contract then deductions from the wages can be made according to the rules described in the contract between the parties of the contract. Additional benefits are also granted to employees such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, and end-of-service gratuity. The labour laws of this country make this country an attractive place of work for the people looking for a dream of a prosperous life.

Annual Leaves and Holidays

Employees are granted annual leaves with full pay and the duration of these holidays depends on the period of the service of the employee. Public holidays are also granted as paid holidays with some additional compensation to employees if they are required to work on these days.

Dubai Courts

Termination of Employment

UAE Law clearly describes procedures and grounds for termination from employment. Notice periods and severance pay is compulsory without which termination is considered illegal. To terminate a person from his job there must be a valid reason.

Health and Safety

Labour law has been made for a balance between the employers and the employee. According to the law in UAE Employers are bound to provide a safe working environment to employees for their health and safety. There are strict regulations to protect the well-being of employees and no compromise is made in this regard. Laws give labourers the right to refuse work if work poses a serious and imminent danger to their health or safety and proper precautions have not been taken by the employer.

Compliance and Enforcement of Laws

Ensuring compliance and enforcement of these laws is compulsory for both employers and employees, and it is the only way that can avoid legal disputes and create a working harmony between the parties of the contract. The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) ensures the implementation and enforcement of labour laws in the country. The Employers must register their employees with the MOHRE and strictly follow its guidelines. In case of any dispute related to employment, employees have the right to seek redress through the MOHRE or the other UAE courts available in the country. Various channels are available such as labour offices, mediation, and arbitration for resolving conflicts between employers and employees.

Professional Level of Jobs for Laborers

There are approximately nine professional levels of jobs for laborers that are mentioned by an international labor organization, including:

1: Business executives, managers, and legislators occupy this level, which is at the top of the hierarchy.

2: human field workers, technicians, and scientific researchers work as 2nd level professionals in the UAE.

3: People who work as writing professionals stay at this rank.

4: sale-purchase workers and service providers are at this level of professional jobs.

5: People working in the different fields of biology such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and fisheries are included in this category.

6: people working as miners and craftsmen.

7: machinery technicians, operators, and equipment handlers are at the 7th level.

8: simple professions like drivers, masons, etc.

9: intellectuals, teachers, or educationists belong to this category.

Dubai Courts

Now you can select the level of professional job for yourself according to your capabilities and skills. Some other conditions are also applied to join a specific professional level that are requirements to be fulfilled. Take a look:

  • You need an educational certificate minimum up to secondary level or equivalent to get any job.
  • These certificates must be attested by competent authorities.
  • Your monthly salary must be above AED 5000.
  • Your registration as an employee in one of the above-mentioned categories is compulsory.

Read Also: Lawyers in Dubai/Criminal Lawyers in Dubai


Labour laws in the UAE are a document that serves as a cornerstone for regulating employment relationships and also protecting the rights of both employers and employees in the country. Understanding such laws and the provisions of these laws is essential for the parties of the contract and by this document, parties can ensure compliance, foster a fair working environment, promote mutual respect and cooperation in the workplace, etc. By following the principles described by Dubai Courts, employers can achieve a culture of trust and accountability. It is the ultimate goal of the UAE government for the prosperity and stability of the workers at their workplace in the UAE.

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