Recruitment in UAE

Recruitment in UAE: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in UAE? 

$600 USD per month.


What is the cost of a Work Permit in UAE?

10,500 AED from applications made outside the UAE and 11,700 AED from applications made from inside the UAE. 3,000 of which is a bank guarantee of which 2,400 is refunded once funds are released from the Ministry of Labour.

How long does it take to get a work permit in UAE?

2 to 4 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in UAE for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

See below.

What is the estimated net retention in UAE for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

There is no tax or social security so it’s a 100% depending on whether the candidate is paying the management fees.

Read more about the work permit process.

click here


Recruitment in UAE can be a challenge, but you don’t have to drown in time-consuming admin just to place a candidate. You can simplify complications by using an Umbrella Company (or “contractor management company”), as long as you pick the right one.

Skip ahead to find out how we can help you place candidates faster, or simply read on to find out more about the specific issues you’ll face.

Placing a new contractor in UAE: what are the challenges?


Recruiting in UAE generally requires a lot of complex admin duties, and contractors might end up paying too much in taxes or failing to comply with UAE tax law. It’s important to know what kind of concerns you’ll be facing.

  • Double taxation: Contractors can incur a tax liability in both their home country and in UAE. Many countries have agreements that mitigate this type of issue, but whether or not you can take advantage of them will depend on factors like the length of the contractor’s stay, or the laws of the contractor’s home country. You can learn more about double taxation here (note: this info was written with respect to the UK, but the general concepts will still apply).
  • Withholding tax: If a foreign company is used to provide services overseas, the payments made to that company by the UAE client could be liable for withholding tax under UAE tax law. Find out more about withholding tax.
  • Individual taxation and tax residency: A contractor’s tax liability will often be determined by his or her residency status in their home country and in UAE. Figuring out their tax residency can be difficult and is often tied to the length of their stay in UAE (or out of their home country). Read more about tax residency and individual tax liability here.
  • Permanent establishment: Most double taxation agreements limit the scope of taxation in the host country by providing that a business is only taxable in another state if it has a permanent establishment in that state. A permanent establishment is a fixed base such as a branch, office, factory, workshop, mine or oil well. To find out how to avoid permanent establishment and unnecessary tax liability, read more about the issue.

Work permits

Contractors will need to find a sponsored work permit, which can be difficult and may seriously slow the placement process. Additionally, they’ll need a new permit for each new contract, spawning even more paperwork.

See our FAQ to find out more about the cost and processing time of UAE work permits.

Why use a contractor management company?

An efficient way to manage these problems is to outsource them to a contractor management company. They’ll act as the contractor’s “employer,” handling all of their invoicing, fees, and social security. As UAE tax experts, they also help contractors comply with local tax law while maximising the amount they get to keep.

A quicker, better recruitment process: Working with an Umbrella Company means saving time, effort, and resources. Higher earnings and a smoother transition also make contracting a more attractive opportunity, helping you place candidates more quickly and successfully.

Still, you’ll need to find the right company for you and your candidate.

How to find the right Umbrella Company?

Making sense of the optionsFor free, we match contractors with Umbrella Companies and can help dramatically reduce waiting times. There are numerous Umbrella Companies in UAE and each has its own specialties, services, and payment structures. Choosing the right one is crucial, but it can be difficult when you’re facing a bunch of unfamiliar options.

We’ve developed an extensive database of these companies. We can guide you through your options and help connect you with the best company for you and the contractor.

Get in touch: If you want straightforward, honest advice on recruitment in UAE, we’re easy to contact. Call, e-mail, or chat with us online - for free.

Send your details for more information

Work Permits & Payroll - Frequently Asked Questions


What documentation is required for a UAE work permit?

4 passport photos, copies of; personal page of the passport, degree/diploma certificates, CV, employment contract.

What is the work permit process in UAE?

All nationals are required to apply for an entry permit which is issued before the consultant’s arrival
as part of the Residence Visa application. A Residence Visa is valid for two years, as changed by UAE Labour Law - 1st January 2011.
Citizens of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) do not need an entry permit or Residence Visa. Their GCC card is sufficient to work and reside in UAE. The standard processing time for the entry permit is 8-10 working days* after the required documents have been received and the application has been submitted. Once in country it will take a further 7 days to obtain the residence stamp.

Can you transfer from a Business Visa to a Work Permit in UAE?

Yes but depends on nationality.

Can we organise Business Visas in UAE?

There are no Business Visas they are Tourist or Entry Visas. And no we don’t organize either.

How long does it take to process a Business Visa in UAE?


How much does a Business Visa cost in UAE?


Can nationals of certain countries enter UAE without a Business Visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?


$4000 USD per month.

What is the monthly cost to run a local payroll in UAE?

$600 USD per month

How does payroll work in UAE?


Your employer (the company sponsoring your visa) pays the candidate on a monthly basis. They deduct social security  - which is 12.5% for employers and 5% for employees. This is not applicable to forieng workers. There is no income tax in UAE for locals or foreigners. Deductions are made at source and paid to the United Arab Emirates tax authorities. The World Bank estimates it takes employers in United Arab Emirates 12 man days to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes each year.



Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping