With the right paperwork and the right credentials potential employees with experience in the British construction industry are welcome in the United Arab Emirates
The laws for UK citizens seeking to work in the UAE are quite clearly defined. Though recruiters suggest some grey areas exist, Dubai's employment laws are generally seen as favourable to employees.
Non-UAE nationals require a Residence Visa to live and work in Dubai. To obtain one you must first secure a job in the UAE. Thereafter the company that employs you becomes your 'sponsor' and it is they who will apply for your Residence Visa.
The visa process can take one to six months, though some companies will prefer to wait until any probationary period is over before applying. Until you receive your Residence Visa you are free to leave the company at any time without fear of come back.
As a married man, unless the position you have accepted offers single status only, your wife and children are included on your visa.
Once you have received your visa you must stay with the company with whom you are employed for a 12-month period, starting from the day the visa entry in your passport is received. There is a charge for this service. Note that travellers whose passports bear evidence of travel to Israel will be denied entry to the UAE.
Employees working in a Free Zone are able to leave their employer before the 12-month period is over, providing they have already found employment with another company within the Free Zones, which are treated as being offshore, or outside the UAE for legal purposes.
Employees working outside of a Free Zone who leave their employer before the end of the 12-month period without securing another position within the Free Zone will receive a Country Ban forbidding them to work anywhere within the UAE for six months. Those under a Country Ban may also be forbidden from living in the country during that time.
After 12 months of service with your employer you will be free to leave their employ without incurring any ban.
Employees working outside of a Free Zone must receive a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer before taking up any position in another company.
In some cases companies may refuse to give an NOC and have an employee's Residence Visa cancelled. They might also ask that the employee receive a Country Ban. You may wish to establish with a potential employer that it be included in your contract that the company will not ask for a ban if you decide to leave the company after your twelve months.
Salaries will mostly be paid monthly on a 13-month cycle. It is not the norm to receive a bonus in the UAE.
There are no pension funds in the UAE. Instead those leaving a company, after a minimum of 12 months' service, will receive a gratuity paid by the employer. The gratuity will be a percentage of the employee's basic salary.
The Government Health Card is applied for at the same time as the Residence Visa and entitles the bearer to free or low-cost treatment within government hospitals. Some companies provide their own medical assistance.
Direct personal taxation is against the law in Dubai, which is one of the reasons why it is so attractive as an overseas base. For full advice on your personal tax situation, peak to an independent tax advisor.