Core Facts

  • Population:  9.3M
  • GDP:  USD 370 billion
  • GDP per head:  USD 39,31
  • Unemployment (2017):  3.69%


Driven by booms in the financial and tourism sectors (amongst others), the population of the United Arab Emirates has increased four-fold in the last 20 years. While the labour laws that underpin working relationships in the UAE date back to the 1980s, the explosion in the numbers and types of workers in recent years has resulted in a raft of new legislation being introduced by the UAE government. One notable characteristic of UAE labour law is the concept of ‘free zones’, in which employees are sponsored and employed by the zones themselves and then seconded to employers operating within those zones.