A Complete Guide To HR Policies In Dubai

HR Policies In Dubai

Dubai, a global business hub in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), attracts multinational companies and expatriates alike due to its dynamic economy and investor-friendly policies. As businesses thrive in Dubai’s competitive landscape, understanding and implementing HR policies that comply with local regulations are essential. 

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of HR policies in Dubai, highlighting recent updates in labor laws and best practices for global companies operating in the region.

Overview of HR Policies in Dubai

HR policies in Dubai are governed by federal laws and regulations set forth by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE), as well as local authorities in each emirate. 

1. UAE Labor Law 

The Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, known as the UAE Labor Law, governs various aspects of employment relationships across the country, including terms of employment, working conditions, and dispute resolution.

2. Ministerial Resolutions 

MOHRE issues ministerial resolutions and guidelines that provide detailed regulations on specific aspects of HR management, such as employment contracts, wages, working hours, and occupational health and safety.

3. Free Zone Regulations 

Dubai has several free zones with their own regulatory frameworks governing employment matters. Free zone authorities, such as Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) or Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), have the autonomy to enact specific regulations tailored to businesses operating within their jurisdictions.

Key Aspects of HR Policies in Dubai

1. Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Dubai must be in writing and specify essential terms, including job title, duties, remuneration, working hours, and duration of the contract (if fixed-term). Employers are required to provide employees with a copy of the employment contract in Arabic, outlining rights and obligations clearly.

2. Working Hours and Overtime

Under UAE Labor Law, the standard working week is 48 hours, typically spread over six days with a maximum of eight hours per day. Overtime work is compensated at higher rates, and strict regulations govern the number of overtime hours an employee works.

3. Leaves and Holidays

Employees in Dubai are entitled to various types of leaves, including annual leave, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and public holidays. The entitlements for each type of leave are specified under UAE Labor Law and may vary based on the employee’s length of service and specific circumstances.

4. Health and Safety Regulations

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment and comply with health and safety standards prescribed by UAE regulations. Regular risk assessments, safety training programs, and adherence to occupational health guidelines are essential to ensuring workplace safety.

5. Discrimination and Equal Treatment

UAE Labor Law prohibits discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, or gender. Employers must ensure equal treatment in recruitment, promotion, training, and termination processes, fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

Recent Updates in Dubai Labor Laws

In recent years, Dubai has introduced several updates to its labor laws aimed at enhancing employee protections and promoting business transparency. Key updates include:

Introduction of Remote Work Policies 

In response to global trends, Dubai has introduced regulations governing remote work arrangements, outlining the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees engaged in telecommuting.

Enhanced Protection for Domestic Workers 

Amendments to labor laws have strengthened protections for domestic workers, ensuring fair wages, adequate rest periods, and access to dispute resolution mechanisms.

Expansion of Anti-Discrimination Laws 

The UAE government has expanded its anti-discrimination laws to include additional protected characteristics and enforce stricter penalties for violations.

Best Practices for Implementing HR Policies in Dubai

1. Legal Compliance 

Regularly review and update HR policies to ensure compliance with UAE labor laws and regulations, including changes introduced by federal authorities and free zone authorities.

2. Employee Engagement 

Foster a positive workplace culture through transparent communication, fair treatment, and opportunities for professional development.

3. Training and Development 

Provide regular training sessions for managers and employees on HR policies, labor law updates, and compliance requirements to promote understanding and adherence.

4. Conflict Resolution 

Establish effective grievance procedures and conflict resolution mechanisms to address employee concerns promptly and fairly, maintaining workplace harmony.


Following new labour laws in Dubai is essential for global companies to navigate the complexities of UAE labor laws, promote employee well-being, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. By adhering to federal laws, ministerial resolutions, and free zone regulations, businesses create a conducive work environment that attracts talent, fosters growth, and enhances operational efficiency in the vibrant business landscape of Dubai. 

Global People Strategist is your trusted partner for navigating new labour laws in Dubai. Our resources help you ensure compliance with UAE labor laws, fostering a supportive workplace environment while minimizing legal risks. By leveraging our resources, global companies can confidently establish and maintain effective HR policies that promote employee engagement and operational excellence in Dubai’s competitive business environment. Partner with us to streamline your HR operations and achieve sustainable growth in the UAE market.

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