What now. Jehangir Khan wants to go back to Pakistan to find new job Image Credit: ATIQ-UR-REHMAN/XPRESS

Dubai A beard has cost a man a job worth Dh1,300 per month, almost four times he made as a baker back home in Pakistan.

Jehangir Khan, 21, from Swabi district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, claims he was denied the kitchen helper’s job he was offered initially by an Italian restaurant after he refused to shave his beard as demanded by them.

“They brought me to Dubai on an employment visa in August but when it came to finally giving me residence visa, they snapped because I refused to shave or trim my beard,” he told XPRESS.

Khan says he has never shaved his beard in his life but was ready to trim it if required. However, his employers apparently wanted him to be clean shaven and no less. “I am obviously not prepared to do so, ever in my life, come what may and if that means losing my job, so be it but all I am asking my company to do is pay for my expenses,” says the third of four siblings who must get his employment visa converted to a residence visa by October 4.

“I come from a very poor background and this job would have really helped our family, but now I can’t even take up a new job because of this awkward situation. They got me here and now suddenly I am unwanted,” says the man who has been in the country now for over 50 days, living on charity and help from few friends and relatives. “I really hope I am able to go back and find another job soon in Pakistan,” he adds.

According to Ministry of Labour laws, people working in the UAE can still be banned for up to a year if they try to change jobs. However, no fees are imposed for lifting the labour ban when the minimum salary in a new position is Dh5,000 for high school diploma holders, Dh7,000 for post-secondary school diploma holders, and Dh12,000 for Bachelor degree holders. But Khan is a school drop-out.