The UAE is a wonderful place to visit and live in. For those who are familiar with the customs and laws of the region, they know life is directed, comfortable and luxurious here. However, if you don’t familiarise yourself with what is deemed illegal in the country, you’re landing yourself in a sea of troubles. This is why it is important to know about different laws in the country, including the Uae Labour law.
When it comes to the legal system, the UAE is a very strict place that allows no bad deed to go unnoticed. You can be sure that you’ll end up in a pretty bad position if you do something that goes against the rules.
So, let’s take a look at some of the important laws one must know before moving into the UAE:
UAE Labour Law
Understanding the UAE labour law is of paramount importance if you intend to move here for work. There’s no telling what type of mishap might occur or if you’re being scammed into something you shouldn’t indulge. For example, the UAE Labour Law clearly states that your employer can’t hold your passport in their custody. Similarly, every worker is entitled to a daily wage and no one shall be charged for their residency visa. It’s the company/employer’s responsibility to get your residency visa sponsored.
Other than that, know that you’re not supposed to work more than 8-9 hours per day. Moreover, you’re not required to get your employer’s consent in order to resign from the job. However, you will have to complete the agreed-upon notice period before you do.
When you leave, you will be entitled to a gratuity depending upon the type of your employment contract. These are of two types, i.e. limited or unlimited. As the name suggests, limited contracts are the ones that have a specific start and end date. You will incur charges or subject yourself to a labour ban, loss of labour rights or even some compensation to the employer if you leave before the end date.
Similarly, the unlimited contract has no fixed starting or ending date. However, you must hand in a notice of 1-3 months before you quit. After this period, if you’re not able to score another position, you will have a grace period of 30 days. This period is the only time you’ll have to get yourself another residency visa or leave the country before you’re ultimately deported.
UAE Laws with Regards to Social Culture
Firstly, all the non-muslims that are looking to move into the country should know that alcohol consumption is banned. Appearing in public in an intoxicated state will land you in prison. Unless you’re at one of the established restaurants and clubs that are legally licensed to provide liquor, you can’t drink in the UAE. The same goes for street-drugs or even those such as cannabis and pot. It might be legal in the country you’re from but not in the UAE.
Secondly, there’s no PDA in the emirate. If you’re caught making a public display of affection, you and your partner will be taken to prison and charged for obscenity. It’s forbidden in the UAE to kiss, hold hands or cuddle outdoors. Moreover, you should never be in a room alone with anyone of the opposite sex unless you’re married to them.
That’s because two unmarried people found in a residence will face prosecution. For those who are legally married, consider carrying your marriage certificate for assurance. There have been many cases of unmarried foreigners facing prison time for sleeping together in the country.
Thirdly, there are laws regarding what you can wear outdoors in the emirates as well. Men and women are required to keep their bodies covered when they’re in public. Even if you’re at a public beach, you can’t wear something too revealing that might be considered obscene. That means you can only wear a bikini or speedo if you’re on a private beach or infinity pool.
Finally, if you’re moving into the UAE as a tenant, you’ll have to understand various tenancy laws. For beginners, know that you can do almost everything online. The Ejari app is your means of getting in touch with the governmental departments such as the DLD and RERA. Moreover, you need to have a tenancy agreement or contract with your landlord before you move in. Make sure that you deal with a RERA-registered real estate agent. Furthermore, complete the registration process properly.
Most of the rental agreements are in annual terms in the UAE. These are usually four-check ones, meaning that you have to pay quarterly. You can’t break the contract without facing some sort of penalty which is usually in monetary terms. Similarly, your landlord can’t evict you without giving you three months’ notice.
Other than this, you should familiarise yourself with the force majeure clause that specifies unforeseen circumstances and protocols to follow.
In fact, you would do well by getting in touch with a legal consultant before you do anything else in the emirate. Because as a foreigner, you might need their assistance from time to time.