I have been working for more than three years at a hotel in Dubai on an unlimited labour contract. My offer letter states that my working hours per day would be nine. However, now my duty manager is asking me to work for 10 hours per day but without any overtime pay. He told me that in the hotel industry, employees are not entitled to overtime pay as per the labour law because the nature of work in a hotel is different from other companies. My hotel is under the Labour Ministry’s law. I do not mind working overtime but my employer must pay for that. I would like to know whether the time taken for transportation from our company accommodation in Ajman to our hotel in Dubai (place of work), which takes about two hours, and back included in the hours of work. Do we have the right to ask for overtime pay for this period? Please advise.

I would like to clarify to the questioner that Article 65 of the UAE’s Labour Law (Federal Law No. 8 of 1980) states the following: “The maximum normal hours of work of adult workers shall be eight a day or 48 a week. The hours of work may be increased to nine a day in commercial establishments, hotels and cafés and of guard duties and any other operations where such increase is authorised by the order of the Minister of Labour. The daily hours of work may be reduced in the case of arduous or unhealthy operations by the order of the Minister of Labour.

“The normal hours of work shall be reduced by two during the month of Ramadan.

“The periods spent by a worker in travelling between home and the place of work shall not be included in his hours of work.”

Therefore, the employer has violated provisions in the above-mentioned article of the UAE Labour Law as the hours of work as specified in the questioner’s contract is nine. If the employer refuses to pay for the overtime hours, the questioner shall file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation) in this regard. Finally, hotels as per the UAE Labour Law are not exempted from paying for overtime work to their employees.

Non-payment of rent

I rented my apartment in Dubai out to a family on a tenancy contract for two years. When I submitted the cheque for the second instalment of rent last month, I found out that the tenant’s bank account is closed. The family promised to pay the rent only after the police called them to pay the amount mentioned in the bounced cheque. They continue to use the apartment but has not paid the rent. I asked them to vacate the apartment amicably, but they refused. As per the Dubai rental law, do I have the right to evict them because of non-payment of rent in time? Do I have the right to cut the electricity and water supply?

I would like to advise the questioner that as per Article 25/1/A of Rent (law) No. 26/2007 as amended by Law No. 33/2009 concerning regulating the relationship between lessors and lessees in Dubai and the cases in which the lessor may request vacation [of the flat] during the period of the tenancy contract states that the landlord shall serve payment notice within 30 days, unless otherwise agreed, and the notice shall be sent by the notary or registered mail. In the event of non-payment of rent within the said period, the questioner shall file a rental case before the judicial committee for rental disputes in Dubai to claim for the rent and termination of the tenancy contract due to non-payment of the rent within the notice period. Finally, the questioner, as per the Dubai rental law, has no right to cut the electricity and water supply for any reason. Otherwise, he will be facing legal action from the authority concerned in case the tenant requests for that.

Questions are answered by lawyer Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba, of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants