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Labour Department Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE

Monday 18 February 2019 (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.
  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.

  • Passport retained by employer: In principle easy to resolve, might involve visit to court and police to force an employer to hand it over after an MOL meeting. Some failures, possibly dependent on job title (anyone involved in financial or accounting activities). Don't expect to keep your job for long though. Companies that withhold employee passports don't do it by accident, and they don't want all their other employees filing cases against them at the MOL, so they are likely to find some way to terminate you for not cooperating with their illegal passport-keeping policies.
  • Unpaid salary: In principle easy to resolve, but difficult to actually get any money if employer has no money or has gone out of business. If the employer comes to the arbitration meeting with a cheque, remember a bird in the hand ...
  • Unfair dismissal: Termination of employment can be done by either party at any time but there are consequences. If you are terminated, assume you will stay terminated no matter what happens at the MOL or in court. You might get all salary due to you but even if the MOL agrees you were unfairly dismissed, you could have a difficult time trying to get compensation for that if the employer is unwilling to offer you anything. Since the maximum legal compensation is 3 months salary, in most cases if you go to court to recover that money, any legal fees will exceed your maximum compensation, and those fees you paid do not get added to the employer's bill even if you win, unless you then start a civil case to try and recover that money.
  • Unfair dismissal as a result of filing a complaint with the MOL: Again, if you get fired, expect to stay fired, and try to walk out with as much of what is owed to you as possible. In principle, this would be a clear case of unfair dismissal deserving compensation, and the UAE labour law even explicitly refers to this situation (see Article 122 ... More particularly, a termination shall be regarded as arbitrary if it is prompted by a formal complaint filed by the worker with the competent authorities ...). In practice, perhaps it depends on the MOL arbitration officer's mood, but our experience of such a case was that the compensation claim was not even considered by the employer or the MOL.
  • Employment expenses charged to the employee: Again, in principle easy to resolve but in practice, it is easier to avoid paying money than to reclaim money already paid. Be careful what you sign but even if you messed up, go to the MOL anyway, especially if the employer is holding you to ransom by keeping your passport. It should be a clear case in your favor at the MOL office. It doesn't always end up in your favor but don't let the bad stories stop you from filing a complaint. The authorities in the UAE have repeatedly stated that employers do not have the right to keep employee passports.

[... 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):

  • Bank Guarantee Refund Approval Receipt
  • Bank Guarantee information
  • Company and employer information
  • Company employee list
  • Employee information
  • E-Abscond Approval
  • E-Quota Status
  • Immigration Establishment Link Status
  • Labour Card and Work Permit Status of employees
  • Mission Work Permit
  • Salary Certificates of employees
  • Wages Protection System (WPS) Salary File Creation Tool (SIF file)
  • Work Permit Receipt

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

  • Application Status
  • E-complain (complaint) submission
  • Labour Card and Work Permit status and information, also for new applications
  • Mission Work Permit status
  • Employment Contract Information
  • Salary Certificates
  • Salary Complaint submission and status checking

Wages Protection System (WPS)

  • The UAE Wages Protection System (WPS) was developed by the UAE Central Bank and Ministry of Labour to guarantee and record electronic salary payments to workers via banks, exchange bureaus, and other financial institutions that are part of the 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.

  • ask@mohre.gov.ae - newer email contact for general MOHRE enquiries.
  • ecomplain@mol.gov.ae - send complaints by email to have them ignored more efficiently than by post or phone.
  • helpdesk@mol.gov.ae - for MOL website enquiries?
  • hr@mol.gov.ae - MOL Human Resources Department?
  • labour@mol.gov.ae - unknown
  • minister@mol.gov.ae - UAE Minister of Labour?
  • molmail@mol.gov.ae - Ministry of Labour Affairs in Dubai?
  • mopmr@uae.gov.ae - unknown
  • pr@mol.gov.ae - MOL public relations and press releases?
  • prsa@mol.gov.ae - Ministry of Social Affairs? Not clear why it uses an MOL domain email address, might be an error?
  • wps@mol.gov.ae - for Wages Protection System enquiries

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

  • Minister of Labour - refer UAE Government Departments list. As of 2011, Minister of Labour is Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash (Ghubash) (appointment announced 18 February 2008). Previously was Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Kaabi (Ka'abi) from 11 November 2004 (as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs) until 18 February 2008).
  • Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour - Mubarak Ahmed Barasheed Al Dhaheri (appointment announced by WAM 09 March 2011).
  • Previous Under Secretary was Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi (Dimas Al Suweidi).
    • Also referred to as Assistant Undersecretary, Assistant Labour Undersecretary, Acting Director-General, Executive Secretary, Acting General Manager from 2007-2011 depending on information source.
    • In 2005 was referred to as Assistant Undersecretary of Labour Affairs. In 2004 was referred to as Assistant Under-Secretary for Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA).
    • Appointment date unknown.

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
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • www.mohre.gov.ae - new official website for the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), same as old website for the MOL. In Arabic and English.
  • www.workinuae.ae - information website for workers in the UAE, operated by the MOHRE. Security certificate warning in Google Chrome Aug 2018, try workinuae.ae instead (without "www").
  • www.mol.gov.ae - official UAE Ministry of Labour (MOL) website, in Arabic and English. Follow the "General Services" tab to find Federal Labor Law No 8 (1980) - the rule book for employment in the UAE (or 'Federal Law no 8, for 1980 on Regulation of Labour Relations'). Also information for foreign workers - UAE Labour Ministry rules for leave, gratuity, permits, hours of work, disputes etc. Availability erratic, also check the Federal Labor Law No 8 information for other sources for pdf downloads.
  • www.tasheel.ae - MOL Tasheel services. See also www.mohre.gov.ae/en/tasheel.aspx.
  • [Login only] tasheel.mol.gov.ae - Tasheel services, link not available unless using Internet Explorer 7 or higher (Feb 2015).
  • [Not in use, website is spam] www.emol.ae - enquire online about work permit and labour card status. Not available, forwards to MOL main website, click on eNetwasal services to check status and other information.


Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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