- Hiring and employment in the free zones of the UAE

Hiring and employment in the free zones of the UAE


Almost 9.5 million people live in the UAE, over 85% of whom are expats, foreigners who were once looking for a job vacancy, and came to the country to build their careers or start business in one of local free zones. The labor market here is growing very fast, since everything is aimed at achieving the main goal – to make this country the best place for doing business, a leader in introducing innovations and better for life than any other country. Therefore, hundreds of recruitment agencies, numerous job vacancies sites, and hiring consultants work here. Everything is aimed at helping a talented foreigner find a job here, and for the local investor to get the right specialists in the most urgent manner. Among the benefits of hiring in the United Arab Emirates are the following:

  • High wages (higher than in many other countries in similar positions);
  • Great career opportunities, even for unqualified employees;
  • Social package and legal protection, according to a labor contract.
  • A residence visa with the possibility of free movement around the country.
  • No income taxes.
  • Safe and predictable country.

Features of the hiring foreign employees in free zones

Here are the basic rules for employing foreign nationals in the UAE's free zones:

  • All the organizational issues, in particular, obtaining a residence visa, are handled by an employer. To obtain this document, a future employee must submit copies of his/her passport and diploma.
  • An employer makes health insurance for employees (typically it is stated in a labor contract).
  • Each employee must draw up an employment contract with an employer, which specifies the size of a salary, work schedule, the procedure for obtaining leave, the duration of the contract. An employment contract is the main document protecting the rights of both the employer and the employee.
  • In some cases, an employment contract provides for a probationary period. According to the agreement, it can last from 1 to 6 months.
  • An employer can hire any specialist from any country in the world. If this person does not have problems with the law, they will quickly open a residence visa in the UAE.

According to local law, employees are entitled to:

  • 30 days of vacation per year;
  • At least one day off per week;
  • 10 paid weekends per year on public holidays;
  • 40 paid and 40 unpaid sick leave;
  • maternity leave;
  • health insurance.

The standard working day here lasts for 8 hours. Employees in the service sector may have an irregular schedule; the processing is paid extra. The official holidays in the UAE are Friday and Saturday; the working week will last from 35 to 45 hours.

Foreigners wishing to work in the UAE are not required to know the Arabic language, especially if they are not applying for a public position, but English must be pretty good. Without it, you can’t even apply for a waiter’s job, only a construction worker.

Employers in the United Arab Emirates, especially value initiative, activity, a high level of working ability, the ability to quickly learn and a competent approach to clients from their employees. Without these qualities, it will be very difficult for you to find a good job in this country.

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