Hire and pay talents
with Horizons in
Horizons ensures day-to-day guidance to help your business navigate Dubai labor laws and regulations. As the Dubai Employer of Record, Horizons is responsible for employee income tax withholding, payment of payroll taxes to state authorities, and submission of tax returns to the Dubai Tax Office. Partnering with our Dubai PEO is the quickest and most cost-effective way to enter the Dubai market.
|PEO Platform Hire in Dubai, and pay employees through our platform or app.||PEO Cost Our Dubai PEO solution is the most affordable on the market.||Time-to-hire Fast onboarding in Dubai, hire in as little as 24 hours.|
|Contracts We draft labor contracts compliant with Dubai labor law.||Local Benefits We administer all mandatory benefits and contributions in Dubai.||185+ Countries It doesn’t stop with Dubai — we are an international PEO|
In the UAE, written employment contracts are mandatory for compliant visa sponsorship of an employee. Contracts are also standard for companies hiring employees in the UAE.
Contracts should clearly indicate the employee’s rate of compensation, benefits, job responsibilities, and any protocols around termination. In some instances, default laws will apply, regardless of what is stipulated in an employment contract. However, in other cases, default rules can be avoided by providing clear and specific clauses in a contract. It is crucial that foreign businesses utilize employment contracts that comply with local labor laws.
When you partner with Horizons’ UAE & Dubai PEO, we ensure that employment contracts comply with all local labor regulations.
|Probationary period||3 months, unless otherwise stated in writing|
|Termination notice period||6 months (maximum)|
End of service gratuity (always paid at end of contract):
>1 year of service: 21 days’ salary per year of service
>5 years of service: 30 days’ salary per year of service
In cases of early dismissal:
Up to 1.5 months’ salary total
|Termination notice period||N/A|
The standard work week in the UAE runs from Sunday to Thursday, with weekends taking place between Friday and Saturday. Local labor laws stipulate that only Fridays are mandated days off. Many companies across the UAE operate across a 5.5 or 6-day work week.
For employees that need to work on a Friday, they are entitled to another day off, or base pay of normal working hours with no less than a 50% increase on that pay.
Maximum working hours in the UAE are eight hours per day, or 48 hours per week. Although employees in the public sector often work from 7:30am to 2:30pm, standard hours at private organizations can vary.
During Ramadan, working hours must be reduced by two hours each day.
Quick, compliant hiring in 24 hours—no subsidiary required.
There are several national holidays in UAE, for which most employees receive the day off work:
|1 Jan Sunday||New Year’s Day|
|20 Apr Thursday||Eid al-Fitr Holiday (Tentative Date)|
|21 Apr Friday||Eid al-Fitr (Tentative Date)|
|22 Apr to 23 Apr||Eid al-Fitr Holiday (Tentative Date)|
|27 Jun Tuesday||Arafat (Hajj) Day (Tentative Date)|
|28 Jun Wednesday||Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) (Tentative Date)|
|29 Jun to 30 Jun||Eid al-Adha Holiday (Tentative Date)|
|21 Jul Friday||Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year) (Tentative Date)|
|29 Sep Friday||Mouloud (Tentative Date)|
|1 Dec Friday||Day off for Commemoration Day|
|2 Dec Saturday||National Day|
|3 Dec Sunday||National Day Holiday|
Whilst there are no employer taxes in the UAE, employers are advised to contribute 8.3% of an employee’s compensation towards End of Service Benefit or Gratuity.
From 01 June 2023, there is a corporate tax rate of 9% for businesses or individuals doing business in the UAE whose UAE profits exceed Dh375,000 (approximately $102,000 USD).
Abu Dhabi and Dubai require employer-provided health insurance coverage. Insurance for the employee’s spouse and dependents is also required. Businesses in other Emirates often provide employees with employer-sponsored health insurance even when not required by the employer.
Horizons UAE, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai PEO services provide health insurance coverage and benefits to employees working in the United Arab Emirates on behalf of our clients.
In the UAE, employees are eligible for up to 90 day’s sick leave per year, once they have worked for a company for at least three months after any probationary period. Vacation leave is paid at the following rates:
If the employee’s sickness is due to their misconduct, they are not entitled to sick leave.
In order for employees to receive the full wages due to them, workers must present a valid medical certificate from a certified doctor to their employer.
Female employees who have worked continuously with a company for at least one year are entitled to 45 day’s paid maternity leave. If the employee has not yet accumulated a year of continuous service, she is entitled to the same term of leave at half pay. Employees can choose to extend their maternity leave for up to 10 additional days without pay.
For up to 18 months after having a baby, mothers can take two breaks of up to 30 minutes for nursing.
UAE laws stipulate that fathers receive five day’s paternity leave. This must be taken within six months of the child’s birth.
Employees in the UAE who have worked one or more years of continuous service are entitled to severance pay if terminated. An employee’s severance is equal to the following rate of pay, based on the duration of their employment:
If an employee has an indefinite employment contract and chooses to resign, they are entitled to the following amount of severance pay:
Navigating employee terminations and handling severance packages can be complicated for companies expanding overseas for the first time. Horizons’ UAE PEO can mitigate risk for foreign companies and provide guidance through this process.
There is no set minimum wage in the UAE for expats. However, UAE nationals have designated salary requirements that are determined by their education. For nationals with no high school certificate, they cannot earn less than 3,000 dirhams (AED) each month. For high school graduates, the minimum wage is 4,000 AED per month, whilst employees with a college certificate cannot earn below 5,000 AED in a month.
Employers also need to be mindful of paying employees correctly for any overtime. Employees who work on a Friday – a designated statutory day off – are eligible to receive a pay increase of at least 50%, or another day off.
When conducting a benefit management plan, employers need to be mindful of guaranteed benefits required by law. During the country’s official public holidays, employees are entitled to days off with full pay. Vacation leave is dependent on the length of time an employee has been with a company. However, the industry ‘norm’ is generally 30 day’s vacation per year.
Female employees expecting a child are entitled to 45 day’s paid maternity leave – so long as they have been with their employer for at least one year. For women that have been with their employer less than a year, they are entitled to maternity leave at half pay.
Male employees in the UAE are entitled to five day’s paternity leave. This leave must be taken within six month’s of a child’s birth.
Benefit management in the UAE should include both statutory and supplemental benefits. This will assist employers to attract and retain high-level talent. One such benefit that is required by law is pilgrimage leave. All workers are entitled to a one-time pilgrimage leave of 30 days, without pay.
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have compulsory health insurance programs that must be provided to all employees, their spouses, and their dependents. Although it is not mandatory in other Emirate states, many UAE employers elect to provide their employees with employer-sponsored health insurance.
Working with Horizons’ Abu Dhabi and Dubai PEO solutions can allow you to offload employee benefit management to ensure full accuracy and legal compliance.
It should be acknowledged that the UAE does not have many notable restrictions on benefits and compensation. This includes no established minimum wage for expatriate employees. The UAE Penal Code stipulates that it is a criminal offense for anyone to join or participate in a trade union or labor strike.
With Horizons, you get quick service, transparent pricing, and expert support.
A Dubai PEO and a Dubai EOR are two types of companies which specialize in providing human resources services to businesses in Dubai.
The main difference between a Dubai PEO and a Dubai EOR is in the scope of their services.
Dubai PEOs provide a full range of HR services, including payroll, benefits administration, and employee recruiting—all under one roof as a co-employer. Engaging a Dubai PEO is essentially outsourcing your HR duties in Dubai.
Dubai EORs actually take over as the legal employer of your employees based abroad. Dubai EORs become responsible for labor compliance for your employees in Dubai.
At Horizons, we offer both PEO and EOR services in Dubai. Get in touch now and let us know what service you are seeking.
A PEO in Dubai can feasibly hire both local and foreign nationals to work in Dubai.
However, the ability of Horizons to sponsor your foreign national employee in Dubai may be limited due to visa quotas practiced in many countries.
Contact us with your requirements and our Global Mobility team with review the case and get back to you within 2 business days.
In most cases, Horizons’ Dubai PEO can hire & onboard your employee within 24 hours. The actual start date of the employee will depend on their notice period obligation to their previous employer as well as any relevant hiring rules in Dubai.
It is possible to get a work visa in Dubai. Horizons’ Global Mobility team is a dedicated team of work visa experts. They assess the details of each case to determine feasibility and costs before Horizons applies for the work visa on behalf of your employee. If the Global Mobility team determines that your case is feasible, the process is smooth and transparent. Visa spots in Dubai are limited, however—get started today to secure your employees’ visa spot.