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Working in the UAE: 7 Tips for Working Abroad

  • by: Kara Tusso
  • On: 12, Jul 2017
3 min read

Dubai has just been named the happiest Arab country in the world, and with an increase in aviation jobs, working in the UAE is becoming an ever-more popular and rewarding career choice for engineers.

How to Work in The UAE:

VISA and Passport

Employees working in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) must have a valid Passport and a work VISA. Your employer may be able to arrange your work VISA and permit.

Find out how to apply for your UAE VISA here.

Working Hours

Employees working in the UAE typically work eight hours per day (8:30am to 5:30pm or 9:00am to 6:00pm) and a total of 48 hours per week. The time zone in the United Arab Emirates is approximately GMT+ 04:00, meaning 1.5 hours behind IST for those in India and 4 hours behind MYT in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


One of the big attractions about working in the United Arab Emirates its tax system: the Federal Government does not charge income tax on salaries for those working in the UAE. There are taxes on some services and goods, and the tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Health and Safety

With 79 private and 36 public hospitals, there is a plethora of excellent healthcare facilities across the United Arab Emirates. The average temperature in August is 40°C (100°F) and UV levels are much higher than in other countries across the globe, meaning hydration and sun protection are vital to remaining safe and healthy.

Safety is of paramount importance, and whilst Dubai is more liberal than other locations in the United Arab Emirates, every citizen who lives and/or works in the emirates must adhere to stringent laws. A common-sense approach, including dressing conservatively and refraining from public displays of affection, will help to ensure a smooth experience working abroad, and you can find more tips on health and safety in the UAE here.


For people working in the UAE, the many public transport services include a popular metro, trains, water buses and water taxis. The Palm Jumeirah Monorail connects the Palm Jumeirah with Dubai Marina, and bus services such as Dubaibus and the newly-established bus system in Sharjah provide an inexpensive and comfortable alternative for those working in the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates has a total of nine airports, with the largest being Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.


The UAE has a rich culture that celebrates both traditional ways of life and multicultural influences. 95% of the population belong to the religion of Islam, and the official language is Arabic. Dubai in particular enjoys a thriving and cosmopolitan culture that balances hard work with social events, lively nightlife, luxury shopping and a wealth of outdoor and indoor activities for those working in the UAE.


Over 80% of those living and working in Dubai are expats, with Indian and Pakistani expats making up one third of the population, and a large Malaysian expat community. With more than 200 different nationalities, the United Arab Emirates is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Find other expats and connect with the UAE community here.

Read our guide to working in Dubai

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