Who does the UAE Labour Law apply to?

Is UAE Labour Law applicable to everybody?

Being an employer or an employee, all must be aware of their rights as per UAE Labour Law. Although it may seem that UAE Labour Law encompasses everybody in the UAE, all companies, employees do not come under the purview of the UAE Labour Law.

uae labour law in private sector


As per the Article 3 of the UAE Labour LawOpens in a new tab., if you are anyone from the below category, then UAE Labour Law WILL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO YOU:

a) Officials, employees and workers of the Federal Government, Governmental Departments of the Member Emirates of the State, Officials, employees and workers of municipalities as well as other officials, employees and workers, working in Federal and local public Departments and organizations, as well as the officials, employees and workers appointed for Governmental Federal and Local Projects.

b) Members of the Armed Forces of Police and Security.

c) Domestic servants working in Private residences and the like.

d) Workers employed in Agriculture or pastures, other than those persons employed in the agricultural corporations engaged in processing their products or those permanently engaged in operating or repairing mechanical machines required for Agriculture.

This means employees, companies in the Private Sector will be under the purview of UAE Labour Law.

Do Free Zones have to follow UAE Labour Law?

In their recent release MOL mentioned that they are working towards a unifying Employment Law which will encompass Free Zones. Once that is released, Free Zones will be required to adhere to the new UAE Labour Law. As per the current Labour Law, Free Zones are independent of Labour Law and can follow respective free zone laws of employment. If a Free Zone company wants to follow UAE Labour Law, then they usually mention it in their internal policies or in the employment contracts of their employees.


Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.

6 thoughts on “Who does the UAE Labour Law apply to?

  1. Hi
    I’m student on The Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy at Diploma of Human Resource Management. I found a job on this link and just I want to know what are the graduate level that people can post on a finding a job cause in our country the one of the problems is a jobless.

  2. my employer terminate me in my job and signed me a to cancel my visa. i stay for only 3 months there and now i only have my visit visa. do o have any ban??

  3. Dear Deepak,

    My visa is of 3 years of sharjah local government. UAE labour law is also for me? or some other government labor laws for me?

  4. Hi,

    I’m working as a Civil Engineer with an unlimited contract with a construction firm. I recently tender my resignation with a month notice and all my managers in our project accepted it and requested the HR Manager to provide replacement for me. My letter went to the HR Department and it was not approved by the HR Manager. He answered that I have to stay until the completion of the project or when a replacement is selected which ever comes. Can the company have the rights not to cancel my contract even though a month notice was informed to them?

    There is also a clause (No. 9) in my labour contract that, In case of resignation the labourer will not rejoin a competitive company in the UAE within 1 year as pre Article (127) of Labour Law.

    There’s a list of profession that according to the UAE Law it can’t be ban just like mine. But with one will govern the Clause that was mentioned in my Labour Contract (Clause No. 9) or this clause in the UAE Labour Law?

    The reason I’m resigning is for better opportunity with a construction company.

    Please I badly need your advice if so that my transition to the other company .

    1. Noli,
      No, companies can not reject resignations.
      There is a bit of confusion as to your situation.
      However, HR can only request you to stay but not force!

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