Rules for Employment and Obtaining Work Visas in the UAE

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Before starting to look for a job in Dubai or other emirates, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the rules of employment in the UAE. The Middle Eastern country offers wide opportunities for career growth in various industries. The average salary for a specialist exceeds $3,500, and the Sharia laws in place in the country contribute to a high level of safety.

Requirements for Foreigners

To find a well-paying job, a foreign specialist must meet the following requirements:

  • Compliance of qualifications and work experience with the job requirements.

One of the mandatory requirements is to submit a resume and portfolio in English. Diplomas and certificates must also be translated into English, authenticated, notarized, and stamped by the UAE embassy.

  • Confirmation of health status.

To obtain a work permit in the UAE, one must undergo a medical examination. This includes blood tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C, chest X-rays, and biometric identification to obtain the Emirates ID.

  • Age and appearance.

The average age of a specialist in the UAE is 40-45 years. Young people aged 18-30 are predominantly hired in the service sector.

  • Proficiency in the English language.

A foreign specialist must have sufficient language skills to perform professional duties and communicate with colleagues. As English proficiency increases, so does the range of job opportunities. Knowledge of the Arabic language is an additional advantage.

The company wishing to hire a foreign specialist must provide evidence of the need for foreign employment, as well as proof of its financial stability.

Cultural Nuances

One of the important aspects of employing foreign specialists in the UAE is the cultural nuances that should be taken into account when job searching and staying in the country. These factors can significantly influence the process of obtaining a work visa and successful adaptation to the new environment.

In the UAE, there are certain norms of behavior and etiquette that must be observed both in the workplace and beyond:

  • When interacting with colleagues and superiors, it is important to show respect for the traditions and beliefs of the local population. For example, women are advised to behave modestly and avoid open physical contact with men.
  • Punctuality and fulfilling all obligations precisely are valued in the UAE. Violating these rules can negatively affect the specialist's reputation.
  • Taking photos, audio, and video recordings of people without their consent (even on the street) is prohibited. The same applies to governmental and strategic objects such as airplanes, airports, and administrations.
  • Being intoxicated in public places is punishable by a fine at best and two months' imprisonment at worst.
  • Criticizing the government or spreading negative information about the UAE, including online, can result in a fine or deportation from the country.

Additionally, to ensure successful employment, attention should be paid to formalities and bureaucratic processes. Some companies may require additional documents or recommendations, so it is important to be prepared to provide all necessary certificates and confirmations.

It is also worth considering the peculiarities of work visas for foreign specialists. In the UAE, there is a quota system that limits the number of work visas for various sectors of the economy. This may affect the possibility of obtaining a visa in a specific field and may require additional efforts in the job search.

Adhering to etiquette rules, punctuality, and knowledge of the specifics of obtaining a work visa will help foreign specialists succeed in their new workplace.

Work Nuances

The work of foreign specialists in the United Arab Emirates has its own peculiarities. For example, to obtain a work visa for employment in the UAE, one must have an invitation from the employer, as well as relevant qualifications and work experience.

Another important aspect is the working hours. This is especially relevant for the service sector. The working day in the UAE usually starts early in the morning and ends late in the evening, which may require foreign employees to adapt to a new work schedule. It is also important to remember Muslim sacred days and holidays, which may affect the work schedule.

As for formalities, a specialist coming to the country should know the following:

  • All employees are entitled to leave. By law, this is 30 days, which are paid by the companies. Leave can be skipped, but then in the following year, the company must grant the specialist a break for no less than 60 days. Skipping leave two years in a row is not allowed.
  • Most companies use the right to appoint a probationary period for a new employee. Its duration is six months.
  • Termination of the employment contract can be initiated by both the employee and the employer. The latter must notify the employee at least 2 weeks before the probationary period and within a month after the probationary period. If the employee has been employed for more than five years, the company must notify them of termination no later than three months in advance.
  • An employee can terminate the employment contract themselves but will be required to work for one month.
  • All labor disputes are considered by the Main Department of Residents and Foreign Affairs (there are no trade unions in the country).

Another important aspect is Wage Protection System (WPS). This means that a foreign worker will receive their salary regardless, even if the company that invited them declares bankruptcy.

There are various communities and clubs for foreign specialists in the UAE, where support can be found and new contacts can be established. Participation in such events contributes to a quick adaptation to the new environment.

Labor Reform in 2022–2023

In 2022–2023, labor reform was carried out in the UAE aimed at improving the system of labor relations and protecting workers' rights. Its main goal was declared to create a fairer and more flexible work environment that would promote foreign investment and the country's economic development.

Key factors of the reform were as follows:

  • Working hours in government structures have been reduced (from 48 to 40 hours) as well as the working week (to 4.5 days).
  • Indefinite employment contracts have been abolished. The maximum term of an employment contract today is three years with the possibility of extension. An efficient online registration system for employment contracts has also been introduced.
  • After termination, an employee has the right to stay in the country for six months to find a new job. Previously, this period was 30 days.

Since 2023, unemployment insurance has become mandatory. However, the program does not work if an employee is dismissed due to disciplinary action, resignation, changing jobs, or deportation.

The introduction of new regulations aims to combat unjustified dismissals and illegal restriction of workers' rights.

Job Search

You can search for a job in the UAE through recruitment agencies, websites, or internships.

Recruitment Agency

Recruitment agencies provide professional assistance to job seekers, helping them find suitable vacancies and facilitating the job search process.

One of the advantages of working with recruitment agencies is that they have a wide database of employers and up-to-date information on current vacancies. This allows for quickly finding suitable offers and contacting employers on behalf of candidates.

Recruitment agencies also provide professional consultations and assistance in resume writing. Another advantage of working with agencies is the opportunity to access information about hidden vacancies. Some companies do not publicly advertise their vacancies, but through agencies, they can offer them to potential candidates.

Websites with Job Vacancies

One of the most popular and effective ways to search for job vacancies in the UAE is to use specialized websites.

One such resource is - an online platform for job searching in the Middle East region, including the UAE. Here, you can find thousands of current vacancies from local and international companies. The website allows you to create a profile with your resume and receive notifications about new vacancies.

Another popular site is, a global platform for job searching. Here, there are thousands of job postings of various levels of difficulty and industries. Using filters, you can refine search parameters to quickly find suitable offers. - is a classifieds resource in the UAE, including a section for job vacancies. Here, there are official offers from both companies and individuals. The site provides the opportunity to contact employers directly and submit your resume to them.


Internship is one of the most popular ways to gain work experience and expand professional skills.

In the UAE, there are many opportunities for internships in various fields, ranging from the financial sector to the hospitality business. Work visas are often arranged by the potential employer. "Students" are usually granted a small "scholarship". They can also count on health insurance, meals, and accommodation.

The duration of the internship is from 3 to 24 months. After completing it and proving yourself well, you can enter into a direct employment contract with the employer.

It is important to remember the internship application process. Most companies, in addition to resumes, require a cover letter. Internship options can be found on specialized websites, universities, or recruitment agencies.


Visas are a key aspect of employing foreign professionals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To work in the country, you need to obtain a work visa issued by the UAE Ministry of Labor.

The work visa has a limited validity period. In case of continued employment, the employer must submit a request for its extension several months before the document expires.

There is a special visa for job hunting, issued for two months, and a visa for freelancers. The condition for obtaining the latter is having an employment contract with a salary of at least $5,000.

In-Demand Professions

One of the most in-demand professions in the UAE is a construction engineer. The country is actively developing, new projects are being built, hence the demand for professionals in this field is immense.

IT specialists are also in high demand, especially software developers and data analysts (front-end developers, back-end developers, blockchain developers). Due to the digitization of many industries, companies need highly skilled professionals to manage information systems.

Another popular field for foreign professionals is tourism and hospitality. The UAE attracts millions of tourists every year, and the demand for workers in this industry is constantly growing.

Another in-demand field for foreign professionals is finance and banking. With the development of the UAE economy, companies need professionals capable of managing finances and investments.

Realtors, product designers, sales representatives, and marketers are also worth mentioning.

Salary and Expenses

The average salary in the UAE is $3,500 to $4,000. When signing an employment contract, the employer must specify the salary amount, its structure (base salary, allowances, bonuses), and frequency of payment. Employers are obligated to pay salaries on time according to the contract. Dubai ranks first in terms of average salary, while the Emirate of Umm Al-Quwain ranks last.

However, one should not forget about the cost of living in this Middle Eastern country. For example, monthly expenses including rent for a one-bedroom apartment will range from $1,700 to $1,900. Some specialists have their apartment rent paid by the employer, or the employer provides free accommodation for the duration of their stay and work in the UAE. However, such cases are not so common.


The UAE has one of the most lenient tax regimes for individuals. There is no personal income tax for foreign professionals, no tax on interest, dividends, inheritance, or gift transfers.

Most companies are also exempt from traditional tax payments (except for the banking and oil and gas sectors, tourism). There is no corporate taxation here.

Assistance from The Level Consulting

The Level Consulting company has been operating in the consulting services market for over 12 years. Our specialists will assist with the preparation of all necessary documents, including work visas, and provide advice on temporary and permanent residency issues.

Our experts will explain in detail all the employment rules in the UAE. We will tell you about the necessary steps when looking for a job in Dubai or other emirates, requirements for employment contracts, and the procedure for obtaining a work permit. This information will be useful for anyone who wants to start their career in the UAE or take it to a new level.

Yabancı uzmanların Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri'nde iş bulma ve ülkede kalma sürecinde dikkate alınması gereken kültürel incelikler önemli bir rol oynar. Bu, iş vizesi alım süreci ve yeni bir yerde başarılı adaptasyonu etkileyebilir.

Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri'nde, iş yerinde ve dışında dikkate alınması gereken belirli davranış kuralları ve etiketler bulunmaktadır:

  • Meslektaşlar ve yöneticilerle iletişimde, yerel halkın geleneklerine ve inançlarına saygı göstermek önemlidir. Örneğin, kadınlar için mütevazı olmak, erkeklerle açık fiziksel teması önlemek tavsiye edilir.
  • Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri'nde zamanında olmak ve tüm taahhütleri tam olarak yerine getirmek önemlidir. Bu kuralları ihlal etmek, uzmanın itibarını olumsuz etkileyebilir.
  • Bir kişinin izni olmadan fotoğraf, ses veya video kaydı yapmak yasaktır (sokakta bile). Aynı durum hükümet ve stratejik alanlar için de geçerlidir: uçaklar, havaalanları, idari binalar.
  • Kamusal alanlarda sarhoş olmak, en iyi ihtimalle para cezası ile cezalandırılırken, en kötü ihtimalle iki ay hapis cezası alabilirsiniz.
  • Ülke hakkında olumsuz bilgi veya eleştiriler yaymak, hatta internet üzerinde bile, para cezası veya ülkeden sınırdışı edilme ile sonuçlanabilir.

Bunun yanı sıra, başarılı istihdam için formaliteler ve bürokratik süreçlere dikkat etmek önemlidir. Bazı şirketler ek belgeler veya referanslar talep edebilir, bu nedenle gerekli tüm belgeleri ve onayları sunmaya hazır olmak önemlidir.

Yabancı uzmanlar için çalışma vizesi alımıyla ilgili özel durumları göz önünde bulundurmak da önemlidir. Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri'nde ekonomik sektörler için çalışma vizelerinin sayısını sınırlayan bir kotalama sistemi bulunmaktadır. Bu, belirli bir alanda vize alımını etkileyebilir ve iş ararken ek çaba gerektirebilir.

Görgü kurallarına uyum, zamanında olma ve çalışma vizesi alımının özelliklerini bilmek, yabancı uzmanların yeni iş yerinde başarıya ulaşmasına yardımcı olacaktır.

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