Types of Employment Contracts in the UAE (Public & Private Sectors)

Just like in other countries, jobs in the UAE generally fall under two major categories: public and private sector jobs. The former includes positions in government agencies, while the latter involves career openings in private businesses and enterprises.

Furthermore, there are different types of employment contracts under each category. Private sector jobs are classified into limited or unlimited term contracts, for example. In this article, we provide an overview of each type of employment contract within both sectors.

Know the different types of employment contracts in the UAE.

Different Types of Employment Contracts in the UAE

As cited earlier, job openings in the UAE are either under the public or private sector. Each has its own sub-categories of employment contracts.

Public Sector Jobs
Employment contracts in the public sector are governed by Cabinet Decision No. 13 of 2012, in relation to the Executive Rules for Decree under Law No. 11 of 2008. Based on Articles 9 to 16 of the decision, the different types of contracts are as follows:

  • Full-Time Employment Contract. The employee puts in full working days or hours. He/She receives the total salary, allowances, and benefits allocated to the job.
  • Part-Time Employment Contract. The employee puts in limited hours per working day only. He/She receives salary, allowances, and benefits based on the number of hours accomplished.
  • Temporary Contract. The employee puts in full working days or hours for 3 months and receives corresponding salary and allowances. The contract may be renewed for a similar amount of time.
  • Special Contract. A minister hires the employee for a high position in the ministry or agency. The salary and allowances are based on the ministry’s needs and budget, although these should not exceed the maximum amount set by the Ministry of Finance and approved by the Cabinet. The duration for this type of contract is 2 years, renewable for another 2 years.

Read and understanding everything before signing your contract.

Private Sector Jobs
As per UAE Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, there are two types of employment contracts under the private sector: limited (fixed-term) and unlimited term contracts.

  • Limited (Fixed-Term) Contract. This type of contract mentions a specific employment period, including a start date and end date. Usually, a limited contract lasts for 2 or 3 years, which may be renewed, depending on the employer’s needs. This contract includes a notice for termination.
  • Unlimited Term Contract. This type of contract is open-ended in terms of duration. Either the employer or employee may terminate the contract, as long as they give a notice of 1 to 3 months and follow the proper procedures. Otherwise, the wronged party could initiate legal action.

Be sure to follow the terms and conditions of your contract.

DISCLAIMER: The details presented above are for information-sharing purposes only. To know more, visit the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) website. Meanwhile, if your job falls under the following category, read more about the Law on Domestic Workers in the UAE.


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