5 Things you need to know about the work culture in Dubai

work culture

Working in Dubai can become quite an enjoyable and learning experience

The Burj Khalifa, Dubai Expo 2020, Burj Al Arab and many more things. This is what strikes our mind, as soon as we hear the name “Dubai”. A land full of exotic destinations and people from all the corners of the world- Dubai stands as one of the strongest alternatives to lead a healthy and wealthy professional life.

One of the most flourishing places in the world and the most populous emirate in the UAE, Dubai has enticed millions of expatriates from all over the world to settle and lead a peaceful life. Since the regime decided to shift from an oil reliant economy to one which is diversified and has a balanced approach towards the future, job opportunities in this Emirate have considerably increased.

But what about the work culture? Is it the same as everywhere? Are there any specific things you need to keep in mind about the work culture in Dubai?

The possible answers to these questions can be found in the points listed below.

1. Employment Contract

As soon as you secure a job offer in Dubai, this will be the most important thing to you. According to the UAE labor law, your employer has to provide you with the employment contract prior to your arrival in Dubai or once you get accepted for a job here. The contract includes every detail regarding your job profile, salary, allowances, perks etc.

2. Working hours

The UAE labor law states that a person in any occupation can work for up to 8 hours a day. Overtime remuneration has to be paid to the employee from the ninth hour. If the overtime falls between 9 pm to 4am then wages equal to the salary with an increase of at least 50 percent have to be paid to the employee. (Source 1, Source 2)

3. Work ethics

Work ethics are different from country to country. In Dubai they are quite different to those followed in any corner of the world. Right from the most conservative style of clothing to a specific polite way of greeting your co-workers, Dubai has the most different set of work etiquette. While working in Dubai you’ll also have to avoid scheduling any meeting or convention on Friday, which is generally referred as ‘Juma’ meaning the prayer day.

4. Salary

According to reputed websites the average salary for various professions per year in Dubai (as of 15th Nov 2014) are found as listed below.

  • Accountant : AED 72,175
  • Business development manager : AED 213,235
  • Civil Engineer : AED 107,706
  • Marketing Manager : AED 211,467
  • Mechanical Engineer : AED 102,592
  • Regional Sales Manager : AED 299,865
  • Software Engineer : AED 116,428

Remuneration in Dubai is found to be quite high as compared to any other city in the world. If you are a contract worker, you’ll also be awarded an indemnity which is nothing but the basic salary excluding the bonuses, at the end of your contract period multiplied by the number of years of service and other factors. If you manage to stick with a single organization for a considerable period of time, then you might be able to manage a nice financial cushion to live a comfortable life in Dubai or back in your home country (or at least until you find another job!).

5. Entitlements (Perks!)

As soon as you start working in Dubai you’ll find yourself to possess various entitlements. The foremost ones being, 22 days of paid vacation in a year, 15 days of paid vacation in case of medical illness followed by a half-paid vacation for the next 30 days and end of service gratuity which is up for a claim, as soon as you complete a year with the organization. In addition to this, according to the UAE labor law, you will also have the right to claim for transportation, accommodation and medical reimbursements.

Expats who have worked in Dubai have found it to be one of the most hospitable environments to live in. Good luck!


  1. Thank you for sharing this relevant information. The salary for software engineer is around CND $36393, or UAE Dh 120,000 which seems awfully low by western standards. How do they entice people to shift then?



  2. Hi Grace,

    You’ve actually summarized it pretty well πŸ™‚

    One thing that might be useful mentioning though is the cost of living. Although salaries are pretty decent in Dubai, the cost of living is quite high as well. Also, the number of different activities you can be involved in doesn’t make much room for savings.

    Still a beautiful city to live in though!




    1. Hey Amlik

      That’s quite a valid point. I’ll definitely keep that in mind the next time I write.
      Thanks for your advice.

      Best Regards



  3. hi, it was an knowledgeful article sir.
    i request you to kindly throw some light on how to come dubai for job with 2 years of exp but outside dubai, i.e in india..
    secondly do tell me, what profession , i mean the profile works best without pressure and easy going job there in dubai?
    is there any tension if i am going to complete a contract of 3 years, what to do after that, how to continue further…can i continue with the same after renewing contract?

    thank you & regards



  4. Hi ,

    Me & my husband planning relocate to Dubai ,

    He is having 8 years of banking experience & I have 3 & half year project management experience, please let us know if any job openings suitable for us.

    Thanks & regards

    Rajani K C



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