‘Can divorced mothers sponsor their children in Dubai?’

The parent must have a minimum salary of $1,089 and have legal custody of the children

If a woman is divorced, she can sponsor her children in Dubai but must provide documents showing that she has legal custody. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Getty
Powered by automated translation
An embedded image that relates to this article

Question: I have been offered a job in Dubai and am hoping to move in September with my children.

A friend told me it is hard for a woman to sponsor her children unless she is in certain occupations.

Is this the case in Dubai? I am a business manager in a specialist field and divorced. TH, UK

Answer: Dubai has a great deal of flexibility in terms of women sponsoring their minor children.

There is no requirement to have a specific occupation, such a doctor or lawyer, to do so.

Any mother looking to sponsor her children in Dubai must have a minimum salary of Dh4,000 ($1,089) or Dh3,500 if they have accommodation provided by their employer.

If a woman is divorced, she can sponsor the children but must provide documents showing that she has legal custody. Written permission is also usually required from the father.

All relevant documents, birth and education certificates must be attested while the mother’s residence visa needs to be completed and an Emirates identity card issued before she can apply to sponsor her children.

Besides proof of employment, salary and identity, the parent must also provide an Ejari (government tenancy contract) or proof of property ownership.

A deposit of up to Dh2,500 is required, as well as fees paid to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These fees can vary depending on how the parent enters the country and their passport, but for a UK passport holder, it will probably be in the region of Dh1,000.

If the employer does not have a public relations officer who handles this for employees, the best way to apply is at an Amer centre.

There are a number of Amer centres across the emirate.

Q: One of my employees wants to take an extended break over the summer months, which will be more than their annual leave entitlement.

New UAE labour laws come into effect

New UAE labour laws come into effect

I am OK with this as business will be quiet at that time and we will not need them, but how does it work when it comes to paying them?

As an employer, can I let the employee take unpaid leave or will the company be in trouble if they are not paid for two months? JC, Abu Dhabi

A: It is legally acceptable for an employee to take extended leave with the permission of their employer.

This is covered in Article 33 of the UAE Labour Law, which states: “The worker may, after obtaining the approval of the employer, have an unpaid leave, other than that referred to herein. The leave mentioned in this article shall not be included in the worker’s service term at the employer or in the period of the contribution in the retirement scheme in accordance with the legislation in force in this regard.”

The employer should ensure that this is understood by all parties and I recommend that it be formally documented on the employee’s file.

In addition, the employer should seek advice from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation as any change of contract terms for employees who are paid via the Wages Protection System must be recorded.

Any employment contract modification has a fee of Dh200 plus typing fees.

Fines for breaches are substantial, so it is always better to pay a small charge and seek clarity in such cases. Any fees must not be passed on to the employee.

Q: I am behind on my repayments to a bank and they applied for a travel ban against me, which was granted by the court.

I am making payments to the bank but my work visa is due for renewal in August. I will still have debts at that time.

Is this going to be a problem as I want to continue in this job and have been told that a visa cannot be renewed if there is a case outstanding against a person?

Is there anything that can be done to help me? Will I need a lawyer? OS, Dubai

A: It is generally true that if there is a case against a person and it includes a travel ban, they are not permitted to renew or change their visa sponsorship.

However, there is a way around this. The person needs to approach the authority that placed the ban and request permission to proceed with a visa renewal.

If there is a case against a person, and it includes a travel ban, they are not permitted to renew or change their visa sponsorship
Keren Bobker, senior partner at Holborn Assets

In this case, it appears to be Dubai Courts and OS will need to contact them with details of the case and a formal request.

If he does not have details of the ban, he can obtain it by contacting Dubai Police directly or by telephoning Amer in Dubai on 800 5111, their toll-free inquiry number.

It is not necessary to engage a lawyer to obtain this personal information.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 30 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: June 04, 2023, 4:00 AM