Types of Employment Contracts

Information on limited and unlimited contracts for workers employed in Dubai...

Employment contracts are often drawn up between the employee and the employer before the former arrives in Dubai. It must  be drawn up in Arabic and English. There should be three copies signed by both parties: one for the employee, one for the employer and a third for the Ministry of Labour (MOL). If the contract is not submitted to the MOL, it is not legally binding.

Some employees might be sent an offer of a job - with all the details outlined - before starting. Once this is signed and an employee accepts the terms of the offer, this becomes a legally binding contract.

A contract should include:

  • Date and place of the signature of the contract
  • Type of contract
  • Length of contract
  • Job description
  • Salary and any additional entitlements
  • Date that the employee will begin

Types of contracts

A contract can either be:

  • Limited
  • Unlimited

A limited contract is for a defined number of years; however, a limited contract may not exceed four years. These types of contracts quite often have a three- or six-month probation period and some companies will only process residency when the probation period has finished. Limited contracts are not automatically renewable.

Unlimited, or indefinite contracts are renewable. The employment period for these types of contracts usually corresponds to the residence visa's validity.

  • For comprehensive information on employment contracts from the Ministry of Labour: Click here (PDF)