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Dubai legal questions Ask the Law

Wednesday 16 January 2019 (UAE)   

Common legal questions in Dubai and the UAE

To resolve a legal issue or disagreement, follow the following steps. Having wasta can sometimes influence the outcome in the favor of the wasta-holder, despite what the law says.

  1. Attempt to resolve the disagreement amicably with the other party (employee, employer, sponsor). Sometimes if something is offered that is not required by law, you will have to weigh up whether it's worth demanding your rights if the result is that an offer is withdrawn.
  2. Contact (telephone, visit) the following:
  3. Contact a lawyer for advice, or to communicate with the other party, or to move a case into the court system.
  4. Dubai Police if there is a serious legal issue that needs resolution, or to encourage action from a slothlike person or organisation (a check has bounced for example). But seriously consider contacting a lawyer first.
  5. The UAE court system to obtain a legal solution. This could be time consuming, expensive (the loser might end up paying all costs), and sometimes apparently inconsistent with what you thought the law said or with previous similar cases you thought you knew about. Don't end up in court without having spoken to a lawyer.
Dubai labour law questions
  • Annual leave entitlement is 30 days (UAE Labor Law articles 75 & 78)
  • Date employment starts in Dubai for determination of labour ban is issue date on Labour Card (ATL 28 Aug 2009)
  • Date employment starts for determination of gratuity and end-of service benefits is first day of work, even if on a visit visa (ATL 28 Aug 2009)
  • Expenses for labour card, residence visa, travel (if employed outside UAE) must be paid by the employer (numerous references)
  • Holiday entitlement for Muslims and non-Muslims is Hijra New Year (1 day), Western New Year (1), Eid Al Fitr (2), Eid Al Adha (3), Prophet Mohammed's Birthday (PBUH) (1), Al Isra Wal Miraj (1), UAE National Day (1) (ATL 29 Sep 2006 or 13 Oct 2006?)
  • Job title on contract does not match the real job: file a complaint with the UAE Labour Ministry.
  • Leave period cancellation might be permitted but company must compensate worker with 2x salary or alternative leave (Federal Labor Law articles 75 & 78)
  • Probation period resignation: visa, labour card, travel expenses still paid by employer (ATL 29 Sep 2006 or 13 Oct 2006)
  • Salary discrepancy between amount paid, payslip amount, contract amount, etc: employee should inform the Labour ministry.
  • Visit visa for visitors or tourists is not a legal permit for working in the UAE. An employment entry permit / visa or mission visa is required.
Dubai property legal questions
  • Commission payment to real estate agent on contract renewal is not permitted (ATL 29 Sep 2006 or 13 Oct 2006?).
  • Interest rate increases on mortgages might be permitted depending on contract, check carefully.
  • Property in Dubai deposit full refund due if work not started and developer not registered with RERA and no money in escrow (ATL 28 Aug 2009)
Dubai visa legal questions
  • Costs of processing employer residence visa and labour card are the responsibility of the employer.
  • Costs of processing family residence visas are the responsibility of the employee sponsoring them, not the employer (unless contract specifies otherwise) (ATL 29 Sep 2006 or 13 Oct 2006?).

Legal Firms and Lawyers in Dubai

  • Al Bahr (Al Bahar) Advocates and Legal Consultants - Mohammed Ebrahim Al Shaiba sometimes answers legal questions in the Gulf News on Fridays.
  • Bin Shabib & Associates - www.binshabib.com, Jimmy Haoula (a partner) writes commentary for Property Weekly magazine.
  • ATL - Ask The Law, a regular Friday column in the Gulf News with legal questions answered by a lawyer.
Last update Friday 07-Aug-2015.
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