Employees at their accomodation. Image Credit: Supplied

Under what circumstances does the UAE labour law allow employees not to vacate accommodation provided by the employer when the labour contract is terminated?

I refer you to the UAE’s Federal Labour Law No.(8) of 1980, under Article No.131, paragraph No.01 to 06, which states:

1. In the application of the provision of the preceding article, the cost for return of the worker means the value of his travel ticket as well as what the labour contract or the rules of the establishment specify regarding travel expenses for the worker’s family and the cost of shipping their belongings.

2. In the case of the employers providing accommodation to the employee, the worker shall be obliged to vacate the premises within 30 days of the termination of his service.

3. The worker should not delay vacating the premises for any reason, provided that the employer pays the worker the following;

A. The expenses specified in paragraph one of this Article.

B. Severance pay and any other entitlements the employee is obliged to pay in accordance with the labour contract or establishment regulations or the law.

4. If the worker disagrees with the amount of the expenses and entitlements referred to above, the Labour Department concerned shall determine, as a matter of urgency and within a week from being notified of the same, these expenses and entitlements, and shall inform the worker of the same as soon as they are determined.

5. In this case, the counting of the 30 days grace period for the vacating of the premises referred to in paragraph two of this Article shall commence from the date the employer deposits the value of expenses and entitlements as determined by the Labour Department concerned. If the worker does not vacate the premises within 30 days, the Labour Department with the assistance of the authorities concerned in the emirate shall take the necessary administrative measures for the vacating of the same.

6. The provisions of this Article shall not deprive the worker of his right to take his case to the court concerned.

Four years ago we rented a shop in Dubai. Our tenancy contract expires next month. In the past we used to renew it with the landlord without any problem. However, two weeks ago, when we asked the landlord to renew the contract, which is supposed to start from March 2019 until February 2020, he refused to renew it. According to him, the sponsor of the company who used to sign the tenancy contract has left the company and a new sponsor has joined. For that reason the landlord is not willing to sign a renewal with the new sponsor. He has instead given us three months to vacate and find a new place. My questions are:

1. As per the Dubai rental law does the landlord have the right not to renew the company tenancy contract for the reason that the sponsor of the company has changed?

2. As per the Dubai rental court what is our right in this case and what action can we take against the landlord in order to renew the tenancy contract?

As per the Dubai rental law the landlord has no right to not renew the tenancy contract for the above reasons, that of a change in sponsor, so long as the previous tenancy contract is in the name of the company. Therefore in the case of no amicable settlement with the landlord, the tenant has the right to file a case against the landlord requesting the rental court to renew the tenancy contract.