Monday 09 December 2019 (UAE)

Labour Department Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE

UAE Ministry of Labour (MOL), Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE)

08 Feb 2016: UAE Ministry of Labour (MOL) renamed as UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). New website at www.mohre.gov.ae, same as old website still at www.mol.gov.ae.

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) or Labour Department in Dubai and the UAE governs all work related issues. The MOL is responsible for issuing work permits (or labour cards) and imposing labour bans on those who are entitled to one. The Ministry of Labor does not issue residence visas or entry permits, they are dealt with by the relevant UAE immigration department (in Dubai, the DNRD).

An exception to this is labour permits for maids, they are processed at the immigration department along with their residency permit.

Note that an Employment Entry Permit (often called an employment visa) is not a labour card or work permit, it is an entry permit issued by the immigration department for entry to the UAE temporarily (30 days) and allows the holder to work for the designated employer while the employer arranges processing of the labour card and residence permit (residence visa). However, the immigration department does not issue the entry permit until the MOL has approved (not issued) a work permit for the employee. That's why it takes a few weeks to get things organised.

Ministry of Labour helpline

Telephone 800-665 (old number) or 800-60 (new number) toll-free in the UAE for any labour related issues, including contracts, work conditions, labour cards, work permits.

Check work permit status and other MOL employment information online

  1. Visit the MOL website at www.mol.gov.ae.
  2. Navigate from Home > Services > Enquiry Services > choose from drop-down menu.
    http://www.mol.gov.ae/molwebsite/en/services/enquiry-services.aspx
  3. Enter information requested and click Search (or Submit if the button label gets changed).

Filing a complaint against an employer or employee in the UAE

If you have a problem or complaint, here are some steps to consider. Try to avoid taking any drastic action (for example suddenly abandoning your work) without at least phoning the MOL first. If you are in a situation where you are being threatened, abused, assaulted, or similar, phone or go to the police.

  1. Phone the MOL helpline to get advice or clarification. Information might be inconsistent so consider phoning again to get a second opinion.
  2. Phone a lawyer (or more than one lawyer) to get legal information. A phone call is free and you might get an opinion or advice. Visiting a lawyer for a discussion will usually cost AED 500-2000 per hour (sometimes cheaper for a first visit).
  3. Visit a Tasheel office to file a complaint, or just to get some advice or information. They are usually helpful.
  4. File a case against your employer or employee at a Tasheel center. It is cheap (about AED 20 when we went in 2017) and quick, and easy to do. If you're the employee, bring your passport or Emirates ID, or at least a copy if you have neither. You will also need the mobile phone number of someone in authority at your company.

    Filing a case might prompt the other party to at least try and have a sensible discussion, the MOL actively tries to talk to the other party or bring the two parties together. Be prepared though, for the other party, especially if you are the employee filing a complaint, to be stubborn and/or threatening. In some cases we are aware of, employers reacted especially badly, for example by terminating the employee, or filing a criminal complaint with the police. Although in theory you might have the law on your side, in practice to have your rights enforced can become complicated with resolution taking a long time (months or more) and costing money (tens to hundreds of thousands of dirhams in legal fees).

As an employee, if you do file a case with the MOL against your employer, and you get as far as an arbitration attempt at the MOL offices, our experience has been that no matter how unfair any settlement offer seems, it could be the best outcome you will get. Trying to fight for your rights after that seems to end up being expensive, time-consuming, and with an unpredictable outcome anyway ... unless the cases we know of were employees who were particularly unlucky.

Below are some common cases, and our comments on possible outcomes for the employee. This is not backed up by any sort of authoritative information or source, other than our own experiences or direct knowledge of other people's experiences.

[... update needed ...]

Ministry of Labor contact details

Labour Office Location Emirate Telephone No Fax No PO Box Open Date Notes
Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi +971-2-6671700 +971-2-6665889 805    
Ajman Ajman +971-6-7400444 +971-6-7400555 881    
Al Ain Abu Dhabi +971-3-7629999 +971-3-7629777 1005    
Al Melaiha Sharjah       22 Dec 2010 Al Theqah business services
Al Zaid Sharjah       22 Dec 2010 Al Shamel business services
Delma Abu Dhabi +971-2-8781134 +971-2-8781187 4409    
Dibba (Diba, Deba, Debba) Sharjah       22 Dec 2010 Tasheel business services
Dubai Dubai +971-4-2691666¹ +971-4-2668967¹ 4409    
Fujairah (Fujeirah) Fujairah +971-9-2243888 +971-9-2229340 222    
Kalba (Kalbaa)   +971-9-2777956 +971-9-2774276      
Khorfakkan (Korfakan, Khor Fakan)   +971-9-2383922 +971-9-2386484 9990    
Madinat Zayed Abu Dhabi +971-2-8844577 +971-2-8841330 50017    
Ras Al Khaimah (Khaima) RAK +971-7-2337000 +971-7-2335584 116    
Sharjah (Sharja) Sharjah +971-6-5669777 +971-6-5660369 301    
Umm Al Quwain (Um Al Qwain) UAQ +971-6-7662426 +971-6-7662426 6    

1. Dubai MOL number returns disconnected tone when tried 03 September 2009 (perhaps the Labour Ministry didn't pay their phone bill - numbers usually get disconnected early in the month when that happens). Fax number still operational. Try the toll-free number (still operational), or one of the other emirates. MOL website still showing the disconnected number as the correct Dubai MOL contact tel.

Ministry of Labor online services and enquiries (Netwasal or eNetwasal, and Enquiry Services)

For employers (need company code or number, or transaction number):

For employees and workers (need labour card or passport number)

Wages Protection System (WPS)

Ministry of Labour (MOL) contact email addresses and e-mail address directory

An email address listed here does not mean you are sure to get a response - if you assume you won't, then you're less likely to be disappointed when no one answers. Try telephoning, or visit the MOL website for an online enquiry form.

Note that info@ministryoflabouronline.com (and the website www.ministryoflabouronline.com) is probably not a valid MOL email address, it is more likely to be used as part of a fake teaching job scam to con people out of paying visa fees or similar that they're not supposed to pay themselves (employers are supposed to pay them). Any references to a .tk domain or email address allegedly belonging to the MOL or any other government department are also likely to be related job hoaxes (all the ones we've seen so far for the UAE have been fake). The extension .tk belongs to the Tokelau Islands but is given away for free to anyone who asks.

UAE Ministry of Labour personnel

International Labour Agreements the UAE is a party to

  Title Year Ratified Notes
C1 Hours of Work (Industry) Convention 1919 27 May 1982  
C29 Forced Labour Convention 1930 27 May 1982  
C81 Labour Inspection Convention 1947 27 May 1982  
C89 Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised) 1948 27 May 1982  
C100 Equal Remuneration Convention 1951 24 Feb 1997  
C105 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention 1957 24 Feb 1997  
C138 Minimum Age Convention 1973 02 Oct 1998  
C182 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999 28 Jun 2001  
Last update Tuesday 14-Aug-2018
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