Dubai: Can an employee file a case against company for withdrawing offer letter?

KT reader wants to know what can be done in this case after resigning from previous organisation


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 24 Mar 2024, 8:53 AM

Last updated: Sun 24 Mar 2024, 10:48 PM

Question: A Dubai-based company has extended an offer letter to me. I plan to accept it and resign from my current job. However, I have a question. What happens if my new employer withdraws the offer letter after I resign? I am concerned about this. Please advise.

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you have received an employment offer from a mainland company located in the emirate of Dubai. Furthermore, it is assumed that you have received the said offer letter in the format prescribed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Therefore, the provisions of Ministerial Decree No. 46 of 2022 Regarding Work Permits, Job Offers and Employment Contracts Forms and Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022 Concerning the Guidelines for Implementing Ministerial Resolution No. 46 of 2022 are applicable.

In the UAE, generally, an employer while recruiting a prospective employee needs to issue an offer letter which mentions the terms and conditions of the employment. Thereafter, the same terms and conditions should be mentioned in the employment contract of a prospective employee and both parties may consider including additional terms and conditions only if such additional terms and conditions are advantageous to an employee. This is under Article 2(1) of the Ministerial Decree No. 46 of 2022, which states, “Pursuant to the provisions of the Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations, an employer who wishes to employ any employee must abide by the following:

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Utilise the approved standard employment contract that conforms with the job offer when requesting the issuance of the work permit. It is permissible to add more benefits to the worker in the contract than those mentioned in the job offer; it is also permissible to add Annexes to the contract provided that it does not conflict with the provisions of the decree-law and its executive regulations.”

Furthermore, Article 1 of Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022 mentions that an offer letter issued by an employer should be in the format prescribed by the MoHRE.

An employer while applying for a work permit of an employee needs to submit a signed offer letter between an employer and a prospective employee. This is in accordance with Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022. Once an employer submits all documents/ requirements along with the signed offer letter and payment of relevant fees to MoHRE, an employment contract is signed between an employer and a prospective employee which will be a legally binding contract once the same is registered with the MoHRE.

A signed offer letter may be considered as an agreement of mutual understanding between an employer and its prospective employee. Whereas a signed employment contract between an employer and its prospective employee is a legally binding agreement. Therefore, “all contracts are agreements, but all agreements are not contracts”.

Based on the above, if your prospective employer rescinds the offer letter issued to you, you may not be able to file a complaint with the MoHRE as in the records of MoHRE you are not considered as an employee until the employment contract is registered with MoHRE. However, you may consider filing a civil case against the prospective employer in the court which has jurisdiction in the UAE to determine the matter for the loss of current employment, monetary loss and other damages caused to you due to the rescinding of the employment offer letter issued to you.

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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