What are the things you need to know to prepare yourself for a job at the UAE?

  1. Visa/Passport Requirements
  2. Typical Work Hours
  3. Cost of Living
  4. Vacations, Leaves, and Holidays
  5. UAE Tax System


The oil-rich country of the United Arab Emirates has seen rapid growth in recent years. Many Filipinos find prosperous opportunities from jobs in Dubai. Hiring of overseas workers never seem to cease in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. If you plan on working away from the Philippines, you may find a job that might be your cup of tea in the UAE.

Major companies in the UAE welcome foreign workers with open arms. The total population of OFWs in Dubai consist of around 21.3% of their total population, that’s about 450,000 Filipino’s living in Dubai. If you plan on working in the UAE, then here are a few things you need to know:


Visa/Passport Requirements

Anything that involves entering and leaving a country requires you to own a passport. To be able to work in the UAE you have to get a legitimate work/residency Visa or permit. A tourist visa won’t permit you to work in the UAE. Before you apply for a work Visa/permit, you’re going to need to apply for a residence Visa.

If ever you’re wondering, there are employers will make the necessary arrangements for your work Visa/permit. Resident overseas workers who have full time jobs can easily bring their spouse into the UAE and gain a work permit for a part time job. Working in the UAE without a proper Visa is illegal. The consequences could lead to hefty fines, imprisonment, and deportation.


Typical Working Hours

48 hours per week are the maximum required working hours, according to the UAE labor law. Some other industries such as working in hotels and restaurants require 9 working hours per week. Any work over the specified times should be paid at a rate of 1.25 times the regular rate. During Ramadan, the law states that working hours should be reduced by 2 hours.

Both public and private sectors work from Sunday to Thursday. Their Labor Law enforces that Friday is the official day of for the working force. Private companies usually work 6 or 5 ½ days a week with varying work hours. On the other hand, public sector employees typically work from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm.


Cost of Living

Standards of living in the UAE, specifically in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are expensive but since the income you’ll be pulling with be high, rest assured, you will be able to live comfortably. Real estate is costly and rental prices are fairly high in the city. If you choose to live outside the city, you may find that housing prices are dramatically different.

When it comes to transportation, it won’t come as a surprise to you if you find that vehicles and the costs of commuting are cheap and highly affordable. This is a country whose backbone is built on oil after all.

In the UAE, the lifestyle is luxurious and the facilities are world class. Despite the fairly high cost of living, the money you’ll be making will suffice for the lavishness of the Emirates.


Vacations, Leaves, and Holidays

The official day off of the week is Fridays, this applies for all workers, except for daily wage workers. If a situation arises that the employee is needed to work on a Friday, he/she needs to work on that day. But he/she will be entitled for a regular pay, plus an increase of no less than 50% of his/her daily wage for that day.

Employees are entitled to annual leaves, sick leaves, and a special leave without pay. For annual leaves, employees are permitted to file for an annual leave for 2 days per month, if they have been employed for less than a year but has been employed for six months or over. 30 days, if they have been in service for 1 year.

For sick leaves, employees are only allowed 90 days a year. For the first 15 days, they will receive full payment, then half for the next 30 days, then no pay at all for the next 90 days. Special leaves without pay are entitled to employees who are not under their probationary period. This leave is only established once during his/her years of service.

UAE Tax System

The UAE is tax free. This is probably the main reason why most expats choose to work in the UAE. Though there are no direct taxes that are deducted from employees’ salaries, hotels and clubs may include a 10%-15% service charge on their bills. It’s important to check your receipts whenever you are in hotels, bars, or clubs. If no service charge is indicated on the receipt, you can just add 10% on top of your total cost.



Key Takeaway

If you’re planning to work in the UAE for good or for a number of years, then you can easily find a job in Abu Dhabi or Dubai through job hiring opportunities online. There are tons of openings and since Dubai is growing rapidly, their demand for employees constantly increase. We’ve given you a few things to know and what to do if you plan on working in Dubai, the rest is up to you.