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United Arab Emirates: Pay and benefits

Original and updating authors: Samir Kantaria, Suzanne Gingles and Neshwa Boukhari, Al Tamimi & Company
Consultant editor: Luke Tapp, Pinsent Masons


  • Pay rates are generally set by the individual employment contract. (See General)
  • With regard to payment methods, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (excluding all free zones with the exception of the Jebel Ali Free Zone) operates a statutory electronic Wage Protection System. (See Payment of wages)
  • Employers may make deductions from an employee's remuneration in certain circumstances. (See Deductions)
  • In the UAE generally, a female employee is entitled by statute to the same wage as that of a male employee if she does the same work. However, in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), there are no explicit statutory provisions on equal pay for women and men. (See Equal pay)
  • There is no statutory national minimum wage that applies anywhere in the UAE (including the DIFC and the ADGM). (See Minimum wages)
  • The state retirement pension scheme, which also applies in the DIFC and the ADGM, covers eligible UAE nationals only. (See Pensions)
  • A new requirement for employers in Dubai to provide employees who are not UAE nationals with private medical insurance is being introduced in stages; employers in Abu Dhabi, the DIFC and the ADGM are already subject to such a requirement. (See Medical insurance)
  • There is no system of personal income tax in the UAE. (See Income tax and social security)
  • Employees are entitled to a specified amount of paid sick leave. (See Pay for employees not at work)