Overview

Capital
Abu Dhabi
Currency
UAE Dirham
Date Format
dd/mm/yyyy

calendar icon Public holidays calendar

Taxes

Employer
12.50% - Social Security
Employee
5.00% - Social Security

Minimum Wage

General

For expatriates, there is no mandatory minimum wage. 

For UAE nationals, minimum wage is determined by level of education:

  • No high school certificate- 3,000 AED
  • High school certificate- 4,000 AED
  • College degree or higher- 5,000 AED

Working Hours

General

The work week in the UAE is from Sunday to Thursday with full time employment considered 48 hours weekly and 8 hours daily.

For businesses, hotels and cafes employees, the workday is 9 hours. 

During Ramadan, working hours is reduced by 2 daily.

 

 

Overtime

Overtime pay is paid at a rate of 125% of the regular pay, however, for overtime hours worked between 9pm and 4am, overtime is calculated at 150% of the regular pay. 

For work on Fridays, the employee is entitled to an additional paid day off and overtime pay at the rate of 150% of the regular pay.

VAT

General

The standard rate is 5%.

Mandatory Benefits

Pension Fund

Total pension fund contribution is 26%, with 6% contribution from the government. Employer are required to contribute 15% of employees wages to their pension fund. Employees are required to contribute 5% of their wages to their pension fund.

Social Security
  • Employer contributions- 12.50% of the employee’s monthly salary and housing allowance if the employer is a private entity. If the employer is a government body, the contribution is 15%.
  • Employee contributions- 5% of the monthly salary and housing allowance

The minimum salary that is subject to social security contributions is 1,000 AED and the maximum is 50,000 AED.

For expatriates, social security is not available and therefore, no contributions need to be made. 

Health Insurance

For UAE nationals, healthcare is low-cost. For expatriates, in order to gain access to health services, one must pay a fee and have a health card.

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

If an employee receives an annual or monthly salary, the payroll cycle is monthly with payments paid no later than the 10th of the following month on a working day. If the pay date is not written in the employment contract, the payroll cycle is every 14 days. 

Termination

Termination Process

The termination of an employment agreement must be given in writing. 

For expatriates, the final payment is made when the employment visa is cancelled.  In addition, the employer is obligated to notify the authorities when an employee leaves the UAE. 

Advance Notice

A minimum of 30 days of advance notice is required by law. The employer can choose to give pay in lieu of notice if they so choose. 

Under the DIFC employment law, notice period depends on the length of service:

  • 1-5 months of employment- 1 weeks’ notice
  • Up to 5 years or employment- 30 days’ notice
  • 5+ years of employment- 90 days’ notice

DIFC also allows for pay in lieu of notice. 

Severance Pay

Workers are entitled to 21 days pay for every year up to 5, and 30 days for each additional year.

Termination Pay
  • 1-5 years of employment – the employee is entitled to 21 days of wages for each year employed
  • 30 days of wages for each additional year after 5 years of service.

The total amount of severance cannot be more than the total of 2 years’ salary.