countryintel page main banner

Mercans CountryIntel ® United Arab Emirates Global Payroll And HR Insights

Mercans offers complete Global Payroll, PEO and HR services in UAE

A constitutional federation of seven emirates, the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is politically and economically stable. A progressive policy of economic diversification, free zones and increased foreign direct investment has contributed to UAE’s robust economy.

Download PDF

Doing Business in UAE

The UAE is stable economically and its positive features include a strategic location, strong financial reserves, consistent government spending, several multi-specialty free zones and a progressive policy of economic diversification.

Entity Registration & Incorporation Requirements

Setting up a new business or expanding an existing one in the UAE is straightforward. Choose how your company operates from a range of entity types which suit your individual circumstance.


Banks are open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm.

Working Week

The standard working week is 40 hours per week usually worked from Monday to Friday

Labor Law

The UAE is implementing a strategic plan to promote Emiratisation in the private sector, that is an initiative to employ its citizens in a meaningful and efficient manner in the public and private sectors. Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 (also known as the Labour Law) governs the labour rights of employees in the private sector and applies to all employees working in the UAE, whether individuals are UAE nationals or expatriates.

Download PDF

Main Industries

Petroleum, petrochemicals, travel and tourism

GDP Growth


Dates & Numbers


Official State Name

The United Arab Emirates


9.89 million


Abu Dhabi

Major Languages




Internet Domain


International Dialing Code


United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, AE
12:10 pm, September 4, 2022
clear sky

Global Payroll Solutions, UAE

Private sector employers should pay staff salaries through the Wages Protection System to avoid penalties or fines. In particular, wages must be received once a month on due dates and generally, no later than 10 days after the end of each salary period. The UAE Labour Law does not provide guidelines on the percentage of the basic salary to be paid by an employer; this should be negotiated with individuals.

It is acceptable to provide employees with online pay slips


Payroll reports must be kept for 10 years


1 month

Annual Leave

90 days sick leave where only the first 15 days are paid

Sick Leave

45 days of paid maternity leave and 5 days of paid paternity leave

Maternity & Paternity Leave

On provision of 30 days prior notice

Employee Termination

No requirement by law for provision of a 13th month salary. This payment is made based on employer's discretion

13th Salary

1200 DHS

Minimum Wage

Employees must receive an overtime wage equivalent to regular hour pay with a 25 per cent increase.


First 5 years : 21 working days' basic salary 5 years and above : 30 working days' pay

Severance Pay

Tax and Social Security

Companies that manage multi country payroll (whether this is managed internally or outsourced) should take note of the unique situation in the UAE. The UAE does not levy income tax on individuals. Social security contributions are applicable only for UAE and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nationals.


Corporate tax is, however, levied on oil companies and foreign banks. Value added tax is levied on the majority of goods and services.


Corporate Income Tax


Personal Income Tax


Sales Tax



Social Security

If UAE or GCC nationals are employed, both the employer and employee are required to make contributions to the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA). Neither the employer of an expatriate employee nor the expatriate employee are required to make any social security contributions in the UAE.


Social Security Rate


Social Security Rate for Employers


Social Security Rate for Employees

Employment Law

If an individual is offered a job in the UAE, they must be provided an offer letter issued by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). Visa or tourist entry permits do not provide the right to work in the UAE and default may result in penalties being incurred and deportation.

Employment agreement

There are two types of employment contracts: limited term contracts (fixed term) or unlimited term contracts. The difference between the two lies in the provisions for end of service gratuity and termination.

Working Condition

The Labour Law provides rules about safety and the protection of employees of the private sector including the midday break rule which bans labourers from working outdoors directly under the sun during the afternoons in the summer. Several decrees have been passed to protect worker rights covering recruitment, pay, housing and health.


Private sector employees in the UAE are entitled to annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave and leave to complete the Hajj (annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca)

Employment termination

Either party can singly terminate a limited contract provided the legal consequences of early termination are complied with. In the case of unlimited contracts, the employment relationship is terminated if both employer and employee mutually agree on termination.

30 days prior

Terminating Employment Minimum notice period for terminating an employee

14 Days

Total number of public holidays


Working hours per week

5 Days

Total number of days for Compassionate & Bereavement Leave


Employment, once accepted, must be reported to the Labour Office to avoid violation of the law. Additionally, should an employer not present an individual with a work contract within a week of arrival or if the individual is not able to start work immediately following that, the individual should report to the nearest Labour Office who will assist them with securing alternative employment.

Residency Permits

An individual’s residency permit must be paid for by the employer who must also pay for recruitment costs and the individual’s travel costs to the UAE. There is no such thing as an independent employment visa as all employers must be clearly identified. Additionally, residence visas can only be issued when the applicant is within the UAE having entered on an entry permit.

Work Permit validity

2-3 years

Required Documents

Valid travel records including a passport, visa, etc

Financial records including pay slips

An invitation from immediate family members residing in UAE on family visa status

Visa documentation requirements for Dubai – Transit visa, residence visa, visit visa as applicable

Compliant, reliable, error-free and touchless payroll in United Arab Emirates

Build the best team and hire top talent compliantly in United Arab Emirates. Get in touch with United Arab Emirates payroll outsourcing & PEO specialists for a free consultation!

Download PDF
This document was prepared for informational purposes only. As local laws & regulations keeps on changing. Please consult your tax & legal advisors as well.
Tell us where you want to grow.
Our team regional experts are here to support you with global expansion plans.

    Learn how we can help you comply with Local labor law
    Discover the best-in-class Payroll solution
    Locate Mercans in United Arab Emirates