It’s important to be mindful of the labor laws in Dubai when planning your next journey abroad. With this guide, you’ll get an overview of the most important labor laws to know, helping you to ensure that your rights as a worker are protected.

Standard Working Hours and Overtime.

While there is no legal limit to the amount of hours you can work in Dubai, the standard work week should not exceed 48 hours. Any extra time worked during the week, or any time that you work on a day off should be counted as overtime and be compensated at a premium rate of 1.5x your regular wage.

Maternity Leave Regulations.

In accordance with Dubai labor laws, working mothers are eligible for a three-month maternity leave, during which they should be paid their entire salary by their employer. Additionally, in some cases women may also be entitled to an additional month of unpaid leave at the discretion of the employer and in accordance with specific employment agreements. Furthermore, mothers are entitled to two hours of nursing breaks during work hours, which should not be deducted from their salary.

Annual Leave Entitlements.

In Dubai, every employee should have 18 days of annual leave entitlement per year. This includes both Islamic holidays that are recognized throughout Dubai, such as Eid Al Fitr, plus 2 additional days of annual leave for every 20 days worked. Employees should also be entitled to additional time off during public holidays or National Day celebrations. All public holidays should be included in the employee’s annual leave computation and should not require a deduction from their salary.

Workplace Bonuses and Arab Runners Initiative.

Dubai offers a variety of workplace bonuses and initiatives such as the Arab Runners Initiative, which gives employees the chance to receive bonuses throughout the year by completing an exercise program. This initiative is designed to encourage workers to embrace a healthy lifestyle, achieve better work-life balance and improve physical wellbeing. The bonus payouts depend on individual performance but it is possible for workers to earn up to AED 3,000 each month upon completion of the program.

Wages Protection System (WPS).

The Wages Protection System (WPS) is a systems employed by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to ensure wages are paid on time and in compliance with labor laws. The WPS mandates companies to deposit their employee’s salary directly into their bank accounts, ensuring that workers are receiving fair pay for the hours they have worked. It also helps to protect workers from exploitation by employers who may attempt to renege on agreed upon wages. Failure to comply with this law may result in fines of up to AED 10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.


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