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United Arab Emirates: Pay and benefits

Original and updating author: Samir Kantaria, Al Tamimi & Company

See the legal services provided by the author of XpertHR International > United Arab Emirates, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Pay rates are generally set by the individual employment contract. (See General)
  • With regard to payment methods, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (excluding almost all free zones) 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 they do the same work or work of "equal value". 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)
  • There is a requirement for employers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, in most free zones and in the DIFC and the ADGM to provide employees who are not UAE nationals with private health insurance. (See Medical insurance)
  • Employees in the private and public sectors (except for those in free zones) are required to register with the unemployment insurance scheme. (See Unemployment 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 Sick pay)