Signing an Employment Contract with a Dubai Employer – Valuable Advice for Expat Job Seekers

It is perfectly natural for expatriates to look for a job in Dubai. The emirate’s economy was not very badly hit by the global financial crisis and it is now on the road to recovery. The salaries are still relatively high, especially compared to remuneration in other countries. In addition, you do not pay an income tax. Despite all these benefits, you should not hurry to sign an employment contract, even if you have found the job of your dreams in Dubai. There are some important matters to look into before doing this.

You should receive a copy of the contract you will have to sign before you arrive in the country. It should be written in English. It is important for you to request such a copy specifically, if your potential employer does not provide you with one straight away. Having the contract at hand, you will be able to read it carefully and discuss it with a lawyer, if you think this is necessary.

Furthermore, you will be able to point out any clauses that you do not agree with and negotiate their modification. It is essential for you not to leave any unresolved matters for after the contract is signed. This is likely to lead nowhere and you might be stuck with a position, a work schedule or remuneration that you are not happy with. If you cannot carry out the negotiations over the phone or the email, you can readily visit Dubai in person to resolve all matters that concern you.

When you are presented with the official contract you have to sign, you have to make sure that it corresponds to the initial one and has all the amended clauses entered. You should definitely be suspicious, if you are offered a different document to sign or a different job position, once you arrive in Dubai. It is a good idea to have the contract checked by a local lawyer who specializes in labor law. There are some law firms that are known to provide very good services of this type to expatriates.

There is usually a clause regarding a probation period in the employment contracts in Dubai. It can be for anywhere between one month and one year.  This is the norm for most jobs, so you should not get overly worried about this. Still, you need to keep in mind that according to the local labor law an employer has the right to dismiss an employee without notice during the probation period. In addition, the dismissed worker is not entitled to any service benefits from the company. It is a good idea to take into account these facts when signing a contract.

You should be presented with both an English and Arabic version of the employment contract. You are highly recommended not to sign a document that has no English version. It is important for you to get signed copies in both languages. This is necessary since only the Arabic version is actually valid in Dubai. In addition, you will need the English version for sorting out things such as pension benefits at home.


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