All About the United Arab Emirates

Type of government

Born on 2 December 1971, the Arabian Peninsula is a federation of 7 emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah, located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The United Arab Emirates’ federal government, with its sovereign powers, is responsible for foreign policy and defense, the other powers are granted to the Emirates Members.

Since November 3, 2004, the Emir of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyane, better known as Sheikh Zayed presides. His Vice President and Minister of Defense is none other than the Emir of Dubai, Mohammed ben Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Economy of the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has an open economy with high per capita income and an annual trade surplus.

Their wealth depends largely on the raw materials they have, oil and gas (about 30% of GDP).

Since the discovery of oil more than 30 years ago, this financial windfall has enabled the Emirate to transform itself from a desert to a modern state with a high standard of living.

The government’s efforts have focused on job creation, infrastructure expansion, but also on the opening up of its public services to encourage greater involvement of the private sector.

Business climate in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates own and offer investors all the benefits of a highly developed economy.

Infrastructures (airports, roads, hotels, etc.) and services (banking, telecommunications networks …) meet the highest international standards, thus facilitating efficiency, quality and service.

Among other things, the business community benefits from:

  • Advanced transportation infrastructure
  • Free enterprise
  • Excellent telecommunication networks, electricity, water …
  • Exhibition center for major international fairs, congresses and conferences
  • An impressive park of impressive business offices
  • Development of a quality residential property
  • Hotels, schools, public parks, hospitals, shops and shopping centers …

The development strategy of the UAE is a success, thanks to the development of its infrastructures, services, not to mention its policy encouraging investment, and its remarkable governmental and social stability.

The result is an extremely privileged business climate for investors.

Labor law in the United Arab Emirates

Administered by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, labor law is essentially based on the model of the International Labor Organization.

Act No. 8, adopted by the United Arab Emirates in 1980 and amended by Act No. 12 of 1986 (the Labor Act), governs most aspects of the employer / employee relationship (working hours, holidays , Termination rights, medical benefits, etc.).

Labor law is generally protective of employees and takes precedence over contractual arrangements that would have been made in another jurisdiction, unless the latter are beneficial to the employee.

The Ministry publishes a model of an Arab labor contract which is widely used, but other forms of contract may be planned, provided they comply with the labor legislation in force.

The end-of-contract bonus is equivalent to 21 days of salary for each of the first five years of service and 30 days for the following. In total, it must not exceed two years’ salary.

In the Emirates, trade unions do not exist and strikes are formally prohibited. In the case of a dispute between employer and employee, or a dispute related to the interpretation of the Labor Code, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs will be the first to hear the dispute. If a party wishes to appeal a decision of the department, it will be able to bring its case before the courts.

Working hours in the United Arab Emirates

The legal duration of work is eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. However, for sectors such as retail, hotels, restaurants, working time can reach nine hours.

For hard and dangerous jobs, working time can be reduced.

For many companies, daily work splits into two periods: from 8 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm.

The weekly rest is the day of the Great Friday prayer, as it is the case in all other Muslim countries. In practice, commercial enterprises work 40 to 45 hours per week and the ministries about 35.

The weekend was always set on Thursday afternoon and Friday for all office workers, including ministries, but a number of companies moved to a five-day week, opting for a weekly rest on Fridays and Saturdays.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, normal working hours are reduced by two hours per day.

There are 10 public holidays (paid) per year, with the various Muslim and Christian festivals … From 6 months of seniority in the company and up to the end of the first year, an employee receives 2 days of leave per month. Then, for each completed year, he is entitled to 30 days of annual paid vacation. This is in addition to public holidays, maternity leave for women, and other sick leave.

Dubai

Dubai is the hub of the United Arab Emirates and its capital. Dubai is the nerve center of one of the richest regions of the world, establishing itself as the first port of the Arabian peninsula in front of the federal capital Abu Dhabi .

Located on the Persian Gulf and enjoying an international reputation thanks, among other things, to its high-end tourism and grandiose architectural achievements, the most famous city of the federation has more than one million inhabitants and forms with the cities of Sharjah, Ajman and Umm al-Qaywain, themselves capitals of their respective emirates, an agglomeration of more than 2.3 million inhabitants, according to the 2010 census.

Founded in the eighteenth century, Dubai was for a long time a modest village, mainly pearl fishing until the end of the nineteenth century, before emerging from its isolation and experiencing some development related to its participation in creation of the Trucial States in 1853. Eating its black bread during the difficult period of the inter-war period, Dubai experienced a rapid growth during the second half of the 20th century, bringing the country into the modern era. Its increased influence and new prosperity made the Emirate of Dubai one of the founding members of the United Arab Emirates Federation in 1971. The vice-presidency attributed to the Emirate of Dubai is the mark of its extraordinary expansion.

In the collective unconscious, Dubai is now synonymous with gigantic real estate projects, defying the imagination, and pushing the architectural limits even further, like Palm Islands, the magical palm-shaped artificial peninsula, or  the very emblematic Burj-Al-Arab, this luxurious hotel ship that can claim to be the most “starred” in the world, from Dubai Marina, both original and out of the ordinary, and without forgetting the breathtaking glass tower, the famous and unrivaled Burj Khalifa, with its 828 meters in height.

These pharaonic projects, fully assumed and claimed by the emirate, are presented and promoted as a formidable springboard to make Dubai, within a few years, the world’s first luxury tourism destination, and one of the major poles of family and business tourism.

Dubai has become, in a decade, an undeniable trade platform halfway between Asia and Europe, and in the heart of a very high potential area, MENA, which includes the Middle East and North Africa. The creation of companies in Dubai is experiencing a boom, for several reasons ..

  • Quality and development of infrastructures
  • Security
  • Airline service, especially with Emirates Airlines enabling you to travel anywhere in the world.
    Quality of life of expatriates
  • Tax exemption

Dubai is the capital of the Middle East. It is a high growth geographic area with a constantly increasing in demography,  pool of new companies, access to new markets (180 nationalities living on the spot) and international fairs.

Dubai is the economic capital of the United Arab Emirates, one of the richest countries per capita. Its pro-entrepreneurial policy and its simple tax-free legal system attracts many business creators, subsidiaries of large companies, as well as individuals seeking tax optimization. Creating your company in Dubai, allows you to do business with less hassle and more efficiency.