Labour and employment relations

By Stuart Walker and Nazanin Aleyaseen, Afridi & Angell

While the UAE’s labour law, the UAE Federal Law 8 of 1980, governs most employment relationships in the UAE, it does not apply to UAE nationals and employees of UAE companies working outside the UAE. In addition these laws do not apply to government employees, domestic servants, members of the armed forces and police, or agricultural workers.

All employers in the UAE (other than those mentioned above, companies registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre or in free zones like the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone and Jebel Ali Free Zone) must register with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

It is important for companies with a presence in the UAE to be aware of their rights and obligations and to consider which employment contract best suits their needs and circumstances.

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Stuart Walker is a partner in the Dubai office of Afridi & Angell, a UAE based law firm, where Nazanin Aleyaseen is an associate. They can be contacted at and Afridi & Angel has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.


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