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:. Working conditions for women in the UAE

Sent by: Panagiota


I am thinking of residing and working in the UAE. Can you please give me an idea about the working environment there, information about the positions available for work (administrative positions, work in tourism etc), the residence permit and other relevant topics.

Also I am interested to know if the working conditions are suitable for women. 

Me ektimisi,




To answer your question about Women working in Dubai:

a) Working conditions are equally good, if not better, than Greece and Europe. The difference is that there is much greater respect for women, so much less harassment (verbal as well as other!).  In many places there are different queues for women (eg. to pay telephones, etc.).

b) There is a definite salary gap between men and women, as well as different nationalities, etc. It is really up to you what contract you negotiate with the employer. 

c) In terms of dress, behaviour, etc., I'm sure you already know that things are quite relaxed and it is very much like Europe, as long as it is not extremely uncovered clothing (ie. breasts showing clearly, seriously short shorts, etc.) or many signs of affection in public. Holding hands is ok but no hugging, kissing, etc.

d) To work in Dubai a woman needs to be either:
1. sponsored by her employer
2. sponsored by a husband or father who already is a resident there.

You can easily arrive in Dubai on a visit visa - issued at the airport - and then transfer to either one of the above as and when you decide.  It is much easier to have an independent visa (ie. sponsored by a husband) as it allows you greater ease of transferring jobs if the need arises. (Many couples do decide to get married, which makes things easier).

e) It is officially illegal for a woman and a man to live together if they are not married or immediate relatives (ie. father, brother, son).  Although many people do live together without being married, the risk is minor but always there, if the police should ever be alerted due to problems then you may face difficulties. (ie. the neighbours call them because there is a wild party at the house or you have a very loud fight). 

In terms of work in various positions/industries, the possibility of getting a good salary package depends on what your experience and qualifications are.  One of the best jobs for a woman is to work as a Personal Assistant to a Senior Manager.  If you have the necessary skills (preferably excellent skills in MS Office, excellent English, etc.) these are very well paid jobs.  Even secretaries and receptionists in good companies get good salaries but only if the English and administration skills are very good. 

Tourist office jobs do not pay well and are not recommended as they usually have long hours, working with difficult clients and not enough remuneration.

Please let me know if you need anything further.

Best regards,

11 September 2008



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