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United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Employment

A local work permit must be obtained before commencing employment. Usual working hours in the commercial sector were 8am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm from Saturday to Wednesday (with Thursday being a half day) but some companies are now moving to a 5 day, Sunday to Thursday, working week.

Although often seen as the home of high earners, it is certainly NOT true that all jobs in the UAE pay more than in other countries. You are strongly advised to investigate remuneration rates for your own industry when considering a move.

As in most countries, the major employment agencies have websites where CVs may be submitted either speculatively or for particular vacancies.

In a move announced in October 2004, all expatriate workers in UAE will be fingerprinted before they are provided jobs in order to prevent certain types of fraud (such as medical certificates being obtained for persons other than those for whom visas have been issued).

Added 21/01/06 by Mary: "It is now required as of the 31st December that not only do you have to have your original school certificate (which I did not know that I had to have), but you have to have all of your transcripts from your school along with identification numbers along with that to even obtain a working visa, in the process of getting your residency. I would advise everyone of this so they have the opportunity to get this together before applying for a job. Also, I know as a US citizen, before my certificate can be attested in Dubai, they have to send it to the States first and that can take an average of 20 US business days now. Just thought people should know that. I didn't and it has caused me an enormous amount of hassle".

Added 01/03/06 by Butch - "Construction Industry Leave conditions UAE: Those wishing to relocate to the UAE in the construction industry should be aware of the work/leave conditions. Leave is 30 calendar days a year. Should public holidays fall within your leave period it is bad luck, they are not credited to you. The public holiday calendar is not fixed. Holidays are declared or disallowed with notice of a day or two before they are due, making any form of planning impossible. Minimum of twelve hour shifts are the order of the day. Sixth day(Thursday) is a minimum of seven hours. A distinction is made between Private Sector and Government sector holidays".

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.