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flag United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Sole Proprietorship is an individual company.
Number of partners: 1 person. Can be 100% owned by non-residents.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: The individual entrepreneur is responsible for assets of the company over his personal goods.
Public Joint-stock Company
Number of partners: Minimum 10 members. Shares freely transferable but 51% must be held by UAE nationals.
Capital (max/min): Minimum AED 10 million.
Shareholders and liability: Their responsibility is limited to the amount of contributions.
Private Joint-stock Company
Number of partners: Minimum 3 partners. Shares freely transferable but 51% must be held by UAE nationals.
Capital (max/min): Minimum AED 2 million.
Shareholders and liability: Their responsibility is limited to the amount of contributions.
Limited Liability Company
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners. Maximum 50 partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum requiered.
Shareholders and liability: Their responsibility is limited to the amount of contributions.
General Partnership
Number of partners: Minimum: 2. All the partners have to be UAE nationals.
Capital (max/min): None
Shareholders and liability: Unlimited liability.
Limited Partnership
Number of partners: At least, 1 general partner (only UAE nationals) and 1 limited partner.
Capital (max/min): EAD 500,000.
Shareholders and liability: At least one partner must have unlimited liability. Responsibility of other partners is limited to the amount contributed.
The Competent Organization
The UAE Chamber of Commerce for establishment and the competent ministry.
 
Setting Up a Company United Arab Emirates Middle East & North Africa
Procedures (number) 6.0 8.0
Time (days) 8.0 23.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in United Arab Emirates.
Trade Register

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The Active Population in Figures

20112013
Labor force 4,111,0004,588,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -77.60%79.10%
Men activity rate 92.10%92.00%92.30%
Women activity rate 41.90%43.70%43.50%

Source: UN - United Nations

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2008
Households with Employed Persons 12.8%
Construction 12.3%
Manufacturing 8.7%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 8.0%
Transport and Storage 7.2%
Education 4.5%
Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry 3.9%
Hotels and Restaurants 3.9%
Health and Social Work 2.6%
Mining and Quarrying 1.9%
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply 1.4%

Source: International Labor Organization (ILO)

 
For Further Statistics
Dubai Statistics Center
For Further Information About the Labor Market
The National Human Resource Development & Employment Authority

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
8 hours per day, 9 hours for employees of hotels and restaurant. During Ramadan month, the daily work duration is reduced by two hours for Muslim employees.
Retirement Age
60 years, 55 years for women working in public sector and 65 years for judges.
Working Contracts
The work contract is framed by the law and if desired by individual negotiation.
The formalism of the labor contract is extremely rigid. The procedures for hiring and dismissals are easy. The contract duration should not exceed 4 years. It is renewable by mutual consent.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
No minimum wage exists.
Average Wage
The average annual salary is USD 25,000.
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: There is no social security system for non-national employees. The only obligation of the employer is to provide a health card to his employees, costing 300 AED. Since 2005, the Abu Dhabi Emirate has formulated the "Health Insurance Law" which imposes the obligation on companies based in this Emirate to subscribe to a social insurance for all its foreign employees and their families (spouses and minors).
The nationals belonging to them have a free access to healthcare.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: Foreign employees are recommended to subscribe to an additional insurance.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Employees' Unions are banned in the UAE.
Unions
Ministry of Labor
Labor Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Labor

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Last Updates: October 2014