The normal working week in Dubai is eight hours per day, five days per week. During Ramadan, this is reduced to six hours a day, although many companies only apply this reduction to their Muslim staff. The day of rest in Muslim countries is Friday, so the majority of companies operating a five day working week take either Thursday or Saturday as the other day off. If you are working in an international company, it is likely that Saturday will be your second day off, as this allows better synchronisation of working days with other parts of the world.
Employees are entitled to two days' annual leave for each month of service, if his or her length of service is between six months and a year. After the first year of service, the employee is entitled to 30 days' annual leave per year, in addition to the 10 days of public holidays.
The number of women working in Dubai has increased in recent years, due at least in part to expatriates coming to work in the emirates. Women are generally treated with respect in the workplace and sexual harassment is not a problem due to the severity with which it is treated. Western women should, however, be sensitive to their behaviour towards Arab men in the workplace in order to avoid their friendliness being interpreted as over-familiarity. Most female expatriates are employed in the service industries and they have lately been joined by Arab women who have moved into these sectors from the more traditional women's professions of nursing and teaching.
When accepting an offer of a job in Dubai, you should receive a formal contract from your employer, setting out the conditions of employment, salary to be paid and the benefits that the employee can expect to receive in addition to his or her salary, such as contribution towards accommodation, car or childrens' education. The contract of employment should also set out the conditions for termination of the contract by either party (the employer or the employee). Contracts may have a fixed end date, or may be left open ended. If the end date is specified, the contract can be renewed upon expiry with the agreement of both parties.
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