Dubai employment contract: what to ask for
Expatriate employment is a bit different from employment in the home country. Some Dubai specifics may also add a bit of a problem if you are not prepared.
I will give you a brief overview what you should be looking at in your contract. Of course, the contract is different for everyone. This will only give you an idea what you can ask for.
- Housing is quite expensive here, so ask for a housing allowance. Most landlords also ask for an annual payment in one cheque. It would be better if it was paid by your employer rather than yourself.
- Real estate agent fee is normally 5% of the annual lease price. Ask your employer to pay for it.
- Housing security deposit is normally 5% as well. It is refundable but it is still some money you will have to pay immediately. Ask your employer to pay it for you and then deduct from your salary during a few following months (or from the first salary).
- Car is a must-have in Dubai. A company car or a car allowance will make your life easier. It should be at least about a monthly rent-a-car rate.
- Fuel is cheap, distances are quite high though. Having a fuel card will save you some money.
- Leave ticket for the employee or the whole family once a year is normally provided by Dubai employers. Ask for a possibility to encash it instead. If your home is somewhere in Chile, it can be a good deal!
- Schooling is expensive. Ask your company to pay for it.
- Medical insurance will help you a lot as good healthcare in Dubai costs a fortune.
Use living cost calculator to get an overview on the cost of living in Dubai.
- Preview visit for you and your spouse would be quite a good deal. Dubai is a city that not everyone will like, so it may be worth to have a look at it first. Read more about a preview trip.
- One-way tickets for the whole family. Try not to pay for them yourself.
- Visas for the family. This will save you some time and money.
- Temporary accommodation in a serviced apartment for at least a month will help you to secure a permanent place to leave without any rush. It would be better if there was a kitchen in there. It will save you some money for eating. Otherwise, ask for a meals allowance.
- Relocation agents are quite useful in terms of searching for a place to live, preparing documents, etc. They cost some money though.
- Personal effects and furniture transportation and storage
- Relocation allowance or one-off payment to facilitate your move would be nice to have. This will allow you not to transfer your home currency into dirhams to live until you get your first salary. It may also help you to pay for some stuff you will need to settle in like utilities deposits, curtains, etc.
Redundancy / end of service
Of course, almost nobody relocates thinking of being made redundant. Though given the current economic downturn, it is worth to provide yourself with some security.
- Notice period is how many days/weeks/months they will give you in advance before the retrenchment.
- Severance pay. You never know if the employer will fire you or not to save costs. You may have bought a car, got a loan, etc. Make sure you are paid well if you are laid off.
- Repatriation is better to be paid by the company. Tickets for the whole family, furniture and other stuff transportation, tenancy termination fees, etc.
- Start (entrance) date. If you are relocating within the same company, make sure your new assignment is considered a continuous employment. So that 1) you don't have a probation period and 2) you don't lose any money in case of retrenchment or resignation.
- Sick leave and annual leave. I don't know how they are regulated by law. I have them hard-coded in my contract. Why not?
Should you have anything else to add, please feel free to add a comment.