Employer of Record United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Business Culture

Employer of Record United Arab Emirates

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Business Culture in the United Arab Emirates

Anybody considering visiting or relocating to the United Arab Emirates should familiarise themselves with the cultural norms. 

A large number of foreign nationals have made their homes in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in the cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. The Emirates are home to some of the world’s brightest individuals, many of whom have extensive background working with international corporations. On this sliver of Arabia, multinational corporations will discover a veritable oasis of human potential. 

Here is a flavour of the rules and standards of conduct that newcomers to the United Arab Emirates should be aware of:

Professionals in the UAE are expected to adhere to a strict set of rules regarding proper conduct in business, and these rules include a strong emphasis on modesty and good manners.

It is essential to familiarise oneself with the UAE's cultural norms and business etiquette to avoid any social missteps when conducting business there. While the people of the United Arab Emirates are known for their openness and friendliness, the local business community may have certain expectations when it comes to conducting business.

It's important to put any sponsorship or collaboration agreement in writing. Create a written legal agreement and have it attested by the local court to make things work and avoid legal difficulties. 

United Arab Emirates Business Culture

When it comes to the United Arab Emirates business culture, there are a few things to keep in mind to make a good impression:


Every businessperson will encounter their own unique set of cultural challenges when working in the UAE. By being respectful and mindful of local customs, you’ll go a long way in building strong, productive business relationships in this part of the world.

Working Time Title
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United Arab Emirates - Working Hours and Overtime

Working Hours

Laws in the UAE recently changed so that public sector workers, schools and universities now only have to work four and a half days a week, with the weekend stretching from Friday afternoon to Sunday. It remains to be seen whether the private sector will to adapt to these changes by following suit.

In the private sector, Monday through Thursday constitutes the typical workweek, with the weekend being Friday and Saturday. Friday has traditionally been a mandated rest day. But the law recently changed to allow businesses greater flexibility.

40 hours per week, 8 hours per day are considered to be standard working hours, with most businesses operating from 8am to 1pm, and re-opening from 4pm to 7pm. During Ramadan, working hours are reduced by 2 hours per day.


Hours outside of standard work hours are considered overtime. Employees are only permitted to work a total of 2 hours of overtime per day, or 144 hours, in a three-week period

Employees are compensated for overtime at a rate of 125% of their hourly rate, with this rising to 150% for overnight hours between 10pm and 4am, and hours worked on weekends and their days off.

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We are United Arab Emirates Employer of Record experts

We have extensive experience helping businesses expand their workforce in the United Arab Emirates. Take a look at our areas of expertise to find out more:

Find out how payroll works in the United Arab Emirates and what you can expect when it comes to salaries, bonuses and rates of pay

Enhance your understanding of what your employee is entitled to when it comes to Statutory Leave in the United Arab Emirates

Unsure what’s required when employing staff in the United Arab Emirates? Find out about the United Arab Emirates Work Permits and Visas

Learn more about how you can attract and retain staff in United Arab Emirates with both statutory and enhanced employee benefits

We deliver a fully managed EOR Service in the United Arab Emirates, including Payroll, HR and Legal compliance support

Without Agility EOR, our ability to move quickly and scale would be extremely limited. Superb work from A to Z.

Carol Oliveira
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Frequently Asked Questions

Payrolling the employees is a key part of the service offered by an EOR company. The EOR will calculate and remit all taxes, social securities and similar payments, on behalf of both employer and employee. The client will be invoiced in advance by the EOR company, for the total cost of the payroll.

Yes. Our clients are free to dictate the structure of the employees’ remuneration including any bonuses or commissions they wish to offer. In some countries, there is a statutory requirement to provide “bonuses”, for example in the form of Christmas or holiday allowances.

Yes. Agility EOR will calculate what pay is due upon termination of an employee, factoring in such things as any untaken leave entitlements.

We find that most of our clients are in the Tech, IT, Finance and Professional Services industries. However, we have acquired the skills, knowledge and experience to help all industries across the globe.

As a private company, we’re not beholden to shareholders or asset-shredding Private Equity targets. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients. At Agility EOR, our approach is that we never forget that our business is all about people. Our Employer of Record solutions are tailored to each requirement, not a one-size-fits-all tech platform. We do the right thing by our clients and by the laws of each country we operate in. And we believe in openness; if we don’t feel we can offer you the best solution for a specific territory, we’ll say so. 

We pride ourselves on our personable-approach so once you enter your new employees details into our dedicated platform, we’ll arrange a call with you to go through the details of the employment contract where together we can review and amend to your requirements. We liaise directly with your employee to build a rapport and obtain the necessary information to hire them compliantly, and set them up ready for their first payroll.

We never stop delivering! Even if you’re employee has been onboarded and is happily working for you and being paid each month, we’re here to partner with you whenever you or your employees need us. Even your ex-employees may need our assistance for tax documents, proof of employment requests etc… Our service never stops!