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United Arab Emirates: Recruitment and selection

Original and updating author: Samir Kantaria, Al Tamimi & Company

See the legal services provided by the author of XpertHR International > United Arab Emirates, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • The position relating to discrimination in recruitment and selection varies for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its various free zones. (See Discrimination)
  • The employment of nationals of the UAE and other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council requires a valid work permit, also known as an "identity card" in the free zones. (See General)
  • It is not lawful to employ individuals under the age of 15. (See Young people and children)
  • The recruitment of foreign nationals to work in the UAE and the free zones is subject to authorisation by the public authorities and the issuing of an entry visa, a residency visa and a work permit. (See Foreign nationals)
  • Emiratisation requirements apply in the UAE, but not in its free zones. (See Priority for employment)
  • In the UAE, all employers with five or more employees must keep a personal file for each employee containing certain information, while in the Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market free zones employers must keep records of certain information. (See Record-keeping and work regulations)