Stock Dubai office working staff
Dubai office working staff Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: There is a general understanding of what classifies as skilled labour but that might not necessarily meet all the criteria required as per UAE labour rules and regulations. 

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has set four main conditions that classify skilled labour in the UAE. According to, the UAE government’s official website, they are as listed below:

1. The worker must be at a professional level – which is from skill level 1 to 5 (explained below).
2. The worker should have a certificate higher than a secondary certificate or an equivalent certificate.
3. The certificate must be attested by the competent authorities
4. The monthly salary (excluding commission) of the worker must not be less than Dh4,000.

What is a skill level in the UAE?

In the UAE, MOHRE has defined nine levels of employment in the UAE, according to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO):

• Level 1: Legislators, managers, and business executives.
• Level 2: Professionals in scientific, technical and human fields.
• Level 3: Technicians in scientific, technical and humanitarian fields.
• Level 4: Writing professionals.
• Level 5: Service and sales occupations.
• Level 6: Skilled workers in agriculture, fisheries and animal husbandry.
• Level 7: Craftsmen in construction, mining, and other craftsmen.
• Level 8: Operators and assemblers of machinery and equipment.
• Level 9: Simple professions. As per ILO, this category includes cleaners and domestic workers.

Skill levels 1 to 5 are in the skilled work category.

Knowing your skill level in the UAE is important because it can affect a person’s ability to sponsor their family or apply for certain visas, for example the Green Visa, which is for employees classified in the first, second or third occupational levels..

This article was originally published on December 20, 2022 and has been updated since.