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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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