UAE law: How much is the overtime pay and who can get it?

Dubai - All you need to know about working extra hours in the country

By Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 3 Oct 2021, 11:28 AM

Question: I work in a firm in Dubai. I wish to opt for overtime at work. Can you explain the rules around this? Is there a maximum number of hours that one can work overtime in Dubai? Please advise.

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you are employed by a firm based in the mainland of Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the ‘Employment Law’) are applicable.

In the UAE, an employee is entitled to overtime pay if circumstances make him work more than his or her working hours. This is in accordance with Article 67 of the Employment Law, which states: “If circumstances of work necessitate that an employee works more than the normal working hours, the extra time shall be considered overtime, for which the employee shall receive a remuneration equal to that corresponding to his normal working hours plus an extra of at least 25 per cent of such remuneration.”

Further, if an employee’s overtime work is between 9pm and 4am, the employer should pay him an additional 50 per cent of the remuneration as overtime pay. This is in accordance Article 68 of the Employment Law.

As per Article 69 of the Employment Law, the overtime work may not be more than two hours per day unless circumstances are due to emergency or to prevent any substantial loss to the entity.

The Employment Law is silent on the rights of an employee to demand from an employer to work overtime and earn additional pay. However, an employee is entitled for overtime pay as per the aforementioned provisions of law. Therefore, you may only request your employer to allow you overtime work and it is at his/her discretion to assign it.

It should be further noted that the employees who are in managerial or supervisory designations are not entitled for overtime pay. This is in accordance with Article 72 of the Employment Law, which states: “The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the following categories:

1. Persons holding responsible senior posts in the management or supervision if holders of such titles are vested with the authorities or employers over employees, and such category is to be determined by the Minister of Human Resources & Emiratisation.

2. Ship crews and sea men who work under special service conditions due to the nature of their work, excluding seaport workers who are engaged in loading and off-loading and related works.”

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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