Hire and pay employees in

the United Arab Emirates, hassle-free

Hire and pay employees in the United Arab Emirates, hassle-free

With Deel, your business can easily hire employees in the United Arab Emirates. No more worrying about local laws, complex tax systems, or managing international payroll. Deel takes care of everything in 150+ countries.

The average onboarding time frame in the United Arab Emirates is 20 days with Deel.

Currency

United Arab Emirates Dirham

Capital

Abu Dhabi

Official Language

Arabic

Payroll Cycle

Monthly

Onboard, pay and manage employees in the United Arab Emirates with Deel.

Usually, to hire in the United Arab Emirates, your business needs an entity. That means a local office, an address registered as a subsidiary, and an account with a local bank. All of this, plus navigating regional benefits, payroll, tax, and HR laws, can take months.

Deel lets you hire employees in the United Arab Emirates quickly, easily, and compliantly. We even automate tax document collection, payroll, benefits, and more. For your existing direct employees, we can manage your entire payroll operation from end-to-end.

Download the Guide

All the necessary benefits for the United Arab Emirates
built right in

Deel allows you to provide localized benefits for employees in the United Arab Emirates within minutes. All in one manageable online dashboard.

  • Health Insurance
  • Pension
  • Public Health Insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Private Health Insurance (ADNIC)
  • Workman’s Compensation Insurance

Our quickstart guide to hiring in the United Arab Emirates

Navigate the tabs below to learn everything you need to know about hiring an employee in the United Arab Emirates

Minimum Wage Requirements

In the UAE there is no minimum wage stipulated by law for expatriates.

Individual Income Tax

Employees pay no income tax. However, certain employees may be subject to social security contributions.

Payroll Cost

The estimated employer costs vary depending on the employee’s nationality. For expat employees, the estimated employer cost is 0.06% of their monthly salary plus mandatory health insurance. 

Social Security (UAE and GCC nationals only) - 12.5%-15%* of the employee's monthly gross salary for UAE nationals. The contribution percentage may vary for GCC nationals.
Workmen Insurance Compensation - 0.06%
Mandatory Private Health Insurance - Monthly estimate: AED 1,083.33 

*12.5% for salaries below AED 20,000, 15% for salaries higher than AED 20,000, capped at a maximum salary for the contribution of AED 70,000. The cost may vary for GCC nationals.

Additional information about the mandatory private health insurance
The cost for the medical insurance will be adjusted based on the gender, age, and marital status of the employee and varies from AED 7,388 to AED 38,071 (including issuance fee and VAT) per year. The cost is invoiced annually. In the first invoice, this cost will be pro-rated from the enrolment date to the next policy expiration (June 8).

Please note: Visa fees will be determined case by case. Additional costs apply to employees who are UAE and GCC nationals.

Overtime Pay & Maximum Hours

Standard working hours are 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week. The standard workweek is from Sunday to Thursday. During Ramadan work hours are reduced to 6 hours per day.

Overtime payment is mandatory for non-managerial positions. Managerial staff may take a day off in lieu if they have worked additional hours or days. Hours outside of standard work hours are considered overtime. Employees can not work more than a maximum of 2 hours of overtime per day or 144 hours in total over a 3 week period. For additional hours, employees are paid:

  • General Overtime - 125% of the hourly rate

  • Between 10pm and 4am - 150% of the hourly rate

  • Weekends and public holidays - 150% of the hourly rate

Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to 45 days of paid leave. The employee will receive 100% of the salary during this period, and the employer will be responsible for this pay.

Paternity Leave

There is no paternity leave currently required by law.

Parental Leave

Eligible employees are entitled to 5 working days of paid leave within the first 6 months after the birth of their child. After this, they are entitled to 45 days of unpaid leave. Employees must provide proof in the form of a medical certificate when they request leave on the platform. 

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to 90 days. The requirement to grant this leave is that the employee worked at least 3 months for the employer after the probation period has ended. This leave is paid at different rates and by the employer:

Period Pay Payer
0 - 15 days 100% of base salary Employer
15 - 45 days 50% Employer
45 - 90 days 0% N/A

Termination Requirements

Terminations must respect complex rules and the rules of an employee’s employment country. The off-boarding is always handled by the Employer with the primary stakeholders. It may include ad-hoc fees as well as required or recommended steps on specific termination cases.

Employers can unilaterally terminate contracts at any time as long as proper legal notice requirements and compensation are followed. Terminations without notice must be for cause.

Compliant terminations include:

  • Voluntarily by the employee
  • By mutual agreement
  • Unilaterally by the employer:
    • Without cause providing notice and required compensation
    • For cause without notice
      • Probation period
      • Objective grounds
      • Disciplinary dismissal
      • Performance due to unsuitability for the job
  • By the expiration of the contract

Notice Period

The minimum notice period is 1 month and the maximum is 3 months. The amount must be agreed upon between the employee and the employer.

Severance for Employees

In the UAE, all employees who are terminated, unless terminated under Article 120 of the Labor Law, are entitled to severance pay. Severance pay is 21 working days of salary for each of the first five years of services and an additional 30 working days per year of service over five years up to a maximum of 2 years based compensation.

To protect you from unforeseen financial risks arising from terminations, Deel applies a Severance Accrual to all employment agreements in this country.  Deel has extensive expertise in managing litigation risk globally and our Severance Accrual calculation is based on the prevailing common-law or statutory entitlements and local best practices. In the event your employee resigns or is not entitled to severance, all unused amounts will be returned to you.

Paid Time Off

Employees in the United Arab Emirates who work five days per week are entitled to a minimum of 30 calendar days of vacation per year. This accrues at a rate of 2.5 days per month. Employees can only take vacation days after 6 months of employment at a rate of 2 days per month during the rest of their first year of employment. Once the employee surpasses 12 months of employment, they are entitled to the minimum of 30 calendar days of vacation per year.

Public Holidays

There are 15 regular public holidays in the United Arab Emirates. Public holidays include both fixed-date and moveable holidays that change annually.

  • New Year’s Day: January 1

  • Eid al-Fitr (4 days)

  • Arafat Day

  • Eid al-Adha (4 days)

  • Islamic New Year

  • Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

  • Commemoration Day: December 1

  • National Day: December 2

  • National Day: December 3

Onboarding

Onboarding can vary according to the type of visa the employee will require. Onboarding with a visa: the average time is 20 business days. Onboarding nationals is a minimum of 3 business days after SOW is signed, pending deposit payment and submission of all required employee information.

Employment Contract Details

Contracts must be in English and can be bilingual. They must be in writing and signed by both parties.

All requested contracts must have a deposit paid in order to execute the visa process - UAE visa have a liability on Deel since we must pay the employee once the Visa is issued - accordingly if the client decided to cancel the contract after the visa is granted we will be at risk. A contract must include:

  • name

  • start date

  • length of the employment

  • job description

  • termination conditions

  • monthly gross salary details, with breakdown

  • probation period and notice period details

  • gratuity details

  • annual leave days

Employees can be hired on limited and fixed term contracts. 
The maximum length of a contract can be 10 years, and it can be renewed for the same period of time. 
Indefinite term contracts are not allowed. 
Contract backdating is not allowed. 

Probation Period

Probation periods are mandatory in the UAE. The maximum probation period is typically 3-6 months.
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Hiring in the United Arab Emirates, hassle-free

With Deel, your business can easily hire employees in the United Arab Emirates with our EOR solution. If you have an entity, our Global Payroll solution takes care of payroll and compliance for your direct employees. Our 250+ in-house experts handle everything from managing local laws, complex tax systems, or your payroll in the United Arab Emirates and 150+ countries.

Group (8)

599 USD

Management fee

Group (9)

0.06%

Estimate Employer Cost

*of employee salary

Want to learn the cost of hiring an employee in the United Arab Emirates?

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