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Dubai: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has issued an alert to employees in the private sector to be aware of the rules and regulations of the UAE’s working hours.

The ministry, which is responsible for handling labour affairs and proposing federal laws that regulate labour and labour affairs, pointed out that the normal working hours for the private sector as eight hours per day or 48 hours per week, according to Article 65 of the UAE Labour Law.

“The working hours may be increased to nine hours a day for businesses, hotels and cafes after approval from MoHRE,” said the authority, while explaining that working for more than seven hours a day is prohibited “in arduous or unhealthy works and industries”.

“An overtime is considered if the nature of job demands working beyond normal working hours and it will entitle the employee for a pay equal to normal working hours' remuneration plus 25 per cent of that pay. It could increase to 50 per cent if overtime is done between 9pm and 4 am”.

Break time

The daily working hours is also regulated by MOHRE, who clearly state that workers should not work for more than five consecutive hours without intervals for rest, meals and prayer. The total resting period should not be less than one hour and such intervals shall not be included in the working hours, according to Article 66 of the UAE Labour Law

“As for the factories and workshops where work is carried out in successive shifts around the clock , or for works that require uninterrupted work for technical and economic reasons, the minister shall regulate the method whereby workers are granted the periods of rest , meals and prayer and such by virtue of a decision issued thereby,” said MoHRE.


If work circumstances require the employee to work overtime more than the ordinary working hours, the employee should be paid a wage equivalent to the ordinary hourly wage with an addition of at least 25 per cent of their wages.

“Effective overtime working hours may not exceed two hours per day, unless such work is necessary for the prevention of the occurrence of a colossal loss , a serious accident or the removal or mitigation of the consequences thereof,” said MoHRE.

One day off

Friday shall be the ordinary weekly rest for all workers with the exception of the daily worker. However, if circumstances require that the employee work on this day, he/she shall be entitled to a substitute rest day, or to the basic wage for the ordinary working hours in addition to at least 50 per cent of their wages.

Annual leave

The worker shall be entitled to an annual leave for every year of service for no less than the following periods :

  1. Two days for each month should the period of service be of six months at least and a year at most.
  2. Thirty days for each year should the period of service of the worker exceed one year.

Should the service of the worker be terminated, the worker shall be entitled to an annual leave for the fractions of the last year.

According to the law, the employer may determine the date of the commencement of the annual leave, and may divide it if necessary to two or more periods.