Conditions of Employment

Wondering about Abu Dhabi working conditions? Look no further!

The official work week is Sunday through Thursday in Abu Dhabi. Offices are shut on Fridays and Islamic observances. Government employees are available from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. Most private companies have a 9:00 am to 5:30 pm work day. The only exception is construction industry who works Saturday through Thursday, daylight hours.

Salaries are tax-free. When you come to Abu Dhabi to work, you should have your salary listed on a contract of employment. Pension law is still new, but, companies must pay a gratuity when you depart the country or the company, for every year of completed service. This can add up to quite a sizable sum!

Salaries are usually paid monthly and if you fail to fulfill your contract the company has the right to hold your pay.

Employment laws regulate all employment contracts. This applies to all companies whether private or not and to all companies formed in the United Arab Emirates that were formed under the Commercial Companies Law.

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Labor Contract Information

The information in an Abu Dhabi labor contact is:

Start Date
• Type of work to be engaged in
• Place where work will be conducted
• Length of the contract (fixed or open term)
• Salary; and
• Contract execution date

Probation may not go passed 6 months in length and this is the typical probation offered in contracts. The contract can be ended with no notice during this period, but the benefits are still payable to the employee.

Termination of a contract depends on whether the contract is fixed term or open-ended: Termination of fixed term contract needs a one month notice period. Compensation still covers the employee’s salary for 3 months or the remainder of the contract.

The lower payment takes over. Open-ended contracts termination needs a one month notice with no compensation, however, the employee is allowed gratuity.

All employees are eligible to a gratuity. Fixed term contracts receive 21 days of salary for the first five years, plus, thirty days for each year after. Open-ended contracts – 21 day for first 5 years and 30 days for each year after.

Open-ended contract for an employee who resigns — 1/3 gratuity for the first 3 years, 2/3 gratuity for the first five years, and full gratuity for more years than 5.

If an employee does not do their job, breaks confidentiality, or commits a crime they can be summarily dismissed.

Read more about the UAE and Abu Dhabi business practices here. Read about visas here.

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