Salaries in UAE

Salaries in UAE

Though there’s no official minimum wage in the United Arab Emirates, understanding industry norms and associated penalties is vital if you’re contemplating a move to the country. The UAE predominantly recruits its workforce from overseas, encompassing various fields such as education, healthcare, and aviation. Consequently, determining an average salary in the UAE proves challenging. Nonetheless, several key factors impact compensation, and comprehending the rights, choices, and consequences for both employees and employers is crucial. Like Salaries in UAE, you may also like to know about Employment laws and regulations in UAE.

For detailed insights into UAE wages, delve into the following sections

Salaries in UAE

The Minimum Salary in UAE

Positioning itself as a global business hub, the United Arab Emirates draws enterprises with diverse workforces, spanning the globe from Bangladesh and Mexico to Ireland and Canada. Yet, due to the immense appeal of the business environment, certain aspects of employee rights remain minimally regulated. Notably, there is no established minimum wage in the UAE at present, although the government has been exploring the possibility of its introduction.

High-income expats

For expatriates with higher income expectations, the absence of fixed salary standards often translates into greater flexibility when negotiating compensation packages. Employers understand the need to extend appealing offers to entice these individuals to leave their home countries and adapt to a potentially more regulated culture.

As a result, many expatriates discover that their salaries in the UAE are not only competitive but frequently exceed what they might earn in their home nations. Furthermore, some find themselves securing roles of higher seniority than they would typically qualify for in their home countries.

Low-income expats

For expatriates with lower income prospects, the absence of a minimum wage in the UAE implies that employers have the latitude to determine employment terms without stringent oversight. While the UAE government suggests that employers and employees should mutually agree on employment conditions, many embassies representing countries that send migrant workers establish salary benchmarks for various positions, creating a form of de facto regulation that employment agencies often adhere to.

Low-income expatriates, frequently hailing from Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent, often assume roles like drivers, domestic workers, and construction laborers, among others. Despite the UAE enacting its inaugural bill safeguarding labor rights for domestic workers in 2017, troubling accounts of financial, emotional, and physical mistreatment continue to surface.

Consequences for Delayed or Unpaid Salaries

In the UAE, there isn’t a minimum wage, but the government has rules about when and how salaries should be paid. Employers need to register with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization and use the Wages Protection System to pay their employees. Salaries should be directly transferred to an employee’s bank within 15 days after they are due, or they’re considered late.

If the payment isn’t made within a month, it’s seen as unpaid. Employers who pay late or don’t pay at all can face penalties, like fines, work permit bans, or legal action. If you have a salary issue, you can reach out to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation or file a labor complaint.

The average salaries in UAE

Determining average wages and salaries in the UAE isn’t straightforward due to the substantial variations across this desert nation. Your earnings are influenced by your occupation, work history, employer, and, regrettably, your nationality.

It’s important to note that UAE salaries typically encompass various allowances, such as travel provisions (covering flights to your home country), housing assistance, paid leave, and additional perks. In the global context, Dubai ranks eleventh among cities with the highest expat salaries.

Salaries in UAE by Industry

  • Finance and Accounting: Range from AED 10,000 (Junior Accountant) to AED 130,000 (Regional CFO).
  • Banking and Financial Services: Range from AED 15,000 (Regulatory Analyst) to AED 155,500 (Head of Consumer Banking).
  • Digital: Range from AED 10,000 (Graphic Designer) to AED 90,000 (Chief Digital Officer).
  • Technology: Range from AED 12,000 (Support Engineer) to AED 130,000 (Chief Information Officer).
  • Oil and Gas: Range from AED 32,000 (Quality Assurance Manager) to AED 48,000 (Liquefied Natural Gas Manager).

UAE Salary Comparison Tool

If you want to know what’s a normal salary in your industry, check Glassdoor.

Salaries in UAE

Gender Pay Disparity in the UAE

Regarding gender pay fairness, the UAE government recently enacted a law guaranteeing equal pay for both male and female coworkers. On the 2022 Global Gender Gap Index, the UAE is positioned 68th globally. This indicates that despite government initiatives and outpacing several Gulf nations, women still receive lower pay for comparable job roles.

Income for Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates

A significant 88.4% of UAE residents are expatriates from various countries, making it challenging to establish average wages by nationality. Instead, your income typically hinges on your educational and professional background, your employer, your nationality, and other relevant factors. The primary sectors with substantial employment opportunities are healthcare, human resources, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

How to Address a Low Salary in UAE

The UAE government considers employment terms as issues to be settled between the employer and employee. Once you’ve signed an employment contract, there’s limited recourse unless you renegotiate it. Nevertheless, you can seek guidance from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to understand your rights and available options.


In conclusion, understanding salaries in UAE is essential for anyone considering employment or seeking career advancement in this dynamic nation. Salaries in UAE play a pivotal role in determining the standard of living, job satisfaction, and overall financial well-being. When negotiating salaries in UAE, it’s crucial for both employers and employees to consider factors such as industry benchmarks, experience, and the cost of living.

The diversity of salaries in UAE reflects the multitude of industries thriving in the country, from finance and technology to healthcare and hospitality. Employers must offer competitive salaries in UAE to attract and retain top talent in this competitive market. Conversely, employees must be aware of the average salaries in UAE for their respective roles and industries to make informed decisions about their career paths.

Moreover, staying informed about market trends and salary benchmarks in UAE is an ongoing process that contributes to the continued growth and stability of the job market. As salaries in UAE continue to be a pivotal aspect of the professional landscape, maintaining transparency and fairness in compensation practices ensures a mutually beneficial employer-employee relationship. In summary, understanding and navigating salaries in UAE is integral to fostering a thriving and equitable work environment in this dynamic and multicultural nation.