UAE for Expats: Important Things to Know Before Moving Here

The UAE is a place that many aspirants desire to move to and considering all that’s available here, one can’t argue why not. However, given the fact that it’s an Islamic state that has its own customs and traditions, it’s a huge change of pace for expats that wish to relocate.

Suffice it to say, the transition of becoming a resident of the UAE is not as easy as it is with other countries. That’s because the country is strict with regards to its legal and justice system.

For those who are coming to the country for work and employment, getting familiar with some common laws is necessary. You don’t want to end up in trouble for doing something that’s legal in your country but not in the UAE. Similarly, there are some laws that might not be in the UAE but strict in your country. Knowing these will certainly help you lead a better life in the country.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important things you should know before moving into the UAE:

1. UAE Labour Law

To start with, let’s discuss the details of the UAE labour law since it’s going to be very relevant for most people. There are articles in the legislature that clearly illustrate the kind of relationship an organisation needs to have with its employees. Similarly, there are laws that protect the rights of workers as well as business owners while promoting healthy economic development for both.

For example, if you receive a job offer from an organisation in the UAE, you’re not obliged to present your passport to your employer. They can get copies of it for documentation and apply for your residency visa but they can’t keep it. Similarly, if offered residency, you’re not supposed to pay a single dime for it. This is something that is supposed to be handled by your employer.

Moreover, there are national holidays throughout the year that you are entitled to. These include the days of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, New Year Day, Arafat Day, Hijri New Year, Commemoration Day and National Day.

Coming over to the annual leaves that you’ll be entitled to, the law states that you can get 2 off-days per month. If you’ve covered a term of 6 months or more but not a complete year. Similarly, once you’ve completed an entire year of employment, you’re entitled to 30 days of annual leaves.

2. UAE Residential Law

The laws of the UAE regarding residency are simple and in times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, ideal. While the current situation implies rare circumstances such as the implementation of the force majeure clause, the judicial authorities have ordered all rental disputes to be kept out of court. While it might look bad for landlords who were expecting rental incomes, it has saved the lives of all those who are stuck at homes without jobs.

Under normal circumstances, all residential laws surrounding rental agreements and tenancy contracts are covered in the Ejari app. In fact, this is the state’s innovative way to solve disputes as well as draft up agreements. While officially declaring everything to the government as well. To help expats settle in, the online system provides detailed support on all issues and helps you throughout your tenure.  

3. UAE Traditions and Cultural Laws

If you’re coming to the UAE, make sure that you know the laws of the country regarding customs and traditions.

For starters, holding hands in public or any other form of public display of affection is not allowed. You can land yourself in serious trouble for it. Similarly, if you’ve been seen loitering in public or even spitting, you’ll be fined a handsome amount. Moreover, you can’t wear something too revealing in public as it can also land you in legal hassle. Of course, if you’ve rented out a private beach, you can do whatever you want.

Couples who are visiting the UAE should bring their marriage certificates with them. This is because it’s illegal for unmarried people of the opposite sex to be found living together in the country. There are many instances of various individuals from different countries who’ve ended up in prison because of this.

Lastly, make sure that you never indulge in drinking outside specific hotels and designated clubs. Public intoxication is the last offence you want to commit in the UAE. As the charges imposed on offenders are very daunting.

Final Thoughts

Don’t think that you can get out of legal troubles in the UAE. There’s little to no chance of you talking or bribing your way out of any situation. Given the fact that it’s one of the most technologically advanced governments. With the ultimate surveillance system, you can’t run or hide. Any and all offences will inevitably be recorded and presented in court.

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