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So you got a job offer in Dubai, what next?

Hold off on signing on the dotted line for just a second, a last-minute check can only help

Image Credit: Pexels

Non-taxable income, incomparable quality of life and the promise of amazing sights to see are all part of the Dubai dream.

However, there are also things to look out for before moving out here on a job offer, or before you shift jobs.

We are going to list down key points to be considered before you sign on the dotted line.


The firm itself

This is probably a moot point if you're reading this article after a job offer, as you may have already done intensive research into the company you're planning to join.

If you haven't or if you are still in search mode, make sure you do ample research about the firm. If you aren't in the UAE, find out if a friend living here could help to make sure that the company's location and other provided information is accurate. Then there is, of course, tons of secondary research to be done online. 


The contract

When they offer a job contract, there are two kinds you could get - limited or unlimited. A limited contract is an offer of a job for a specific period of time only, after which renewal is at the discretion of the employer. An unlimited contract is one that is not based on a period of time, and therefore doesn't require periodic renewal. 

In terms of job security, these types don't tend to make a difference. However, there are other critical terms attached to each. For example, a limited contract cannot be broken by the employee with or without notice. The contract is valid for the entire period of time mentioned in the contract. Another difference between the two types is in payment of gratuities when you leave the firm

Make sure you understand the terms attached to each and choose the type that suits you and your career goals.


Pay scale

For a person shifting jobs within the UAE, he or she may already be aware of salary trends and expectations. Living in Dubai isn't cheap, and your highest expense will most probably be rent. You could try and find a place in one of the budget-friendly areas of Dubai. Make an educated decision on whether you will depend on public transport or get a budget-friendly car (some options here).

While having a car is very useful in the UAE, getting a new licence could get expensive, not to mention monthly EMIs on your car. Another option is getting a second-hand car. 

Chart out your expected expenses and goals after speaking someone who lives here. Base your salary expectation based on that, and on your qualifications, job industry and usual lifestyle. 


Probation period

The probation period in the UAE is usually six months, which is the maximum allowed legally, and also the most commonly applied in many firms. During your probation period, you are not entitled to any leave. You could also be let go without much paperwork or stress on the part of your employer.

Make sure you are prepared for every eventuality during this period. For example, hold off on getting a car on debt or pinning yourself down in an inflexible tenancy agreement. 


Notice period rules

Planning ahead for all risks is very important. If you decide you want to leave, during or after your probation, notice period is a condition to be considered. For limited contracts, you cannot resign with or without notice before the end of the agreed-upon term. While you can leave in unusual circumstances, the mode and reason of leaving will affect dues to be paid by your employer.

In unlimited contracts, the minimum notice period is one month while this can be modified to be longer in your contract. If you don't give notice, you might have to pay compensation to the employer. Read all about notice period terms here


What you should do beforehand

This is usually explained to you by Human Resources or PROs of companies. As a general rule, you will have to get your certificates attested. Now, new job visas also require a mandatory good conduct certificate. Find out how to get this in our detailed guide here.


Your rights

From flying out to the UAE to getting your visa, there are many costs involved in starting a job afresh. All your visa expenses are to be borne by your employer (sponsor) and any agreement to cut that from your pay is illegal. The entire responsibility of getting your visa sorted rests on the employer. 

The employer is also liable to get you an insurance policy and pay for your flight out to the UAE, as you are entering solely for the job. After resignation or arbitrary termination, the sponsor or employer should pay for repatriation to the location where the employee was hired from as well.

Your employer has no right to hold your passport for any reason after your visa has been processed. Make sure you ask about all of this beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises later. 


What you can't demand or do

Employees may not be able to demand any family benefits unless this is expressly mentioned in the contract. Some companies may offer family insurance policies, flight tickets, school fees and rent allowances. These are not mandatory for the employer.

Feel free to ask if the company policy allows for anything extra but, legally, you can't demand any of this. Here are five other things you can't do.

Have more questions? Hit us up @GN_Guides on Twitter, and we'll try and answer them for you. Always remember that this is a guideline only and all your individual legal queries should go to the relevant ministry here in the UAE.

All gifs via GIPHY

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