Can I work for two Dubai companies at the same time?

The Dubai resident is switching jobs but wants to work for both firms for a short period

The Dubai resident was on an unlimited employment contract and working for a mainland company in the emirate. Photo: Getty Images
The Dubai resident was on an unlimited employment contract and working for a mainland company in the emirate. Photo: Getty Images

I plan to switch my job in Dubai with the agreement of both my current Company A and the new company B. After joining B full-time, I will also work part-time with A. Both parties have agreed to this. Company B has asked for cancellation of my visa from A so as to process a new visa for me. Can I work for company A for few more days after they cancel my visa? If I am not able to work, I would like to utilise the waiting period for a holiday. Can I travel at this time? I have an outstanding bank loan but I have never missed any payments and also have a significant balance in my account. I also have a credit card with the same bank with a small balance, which is repaid automatically each month. Will this be a problem? AM, Dubai

Provided both companies are fully aware of the situation and the one providing a visa issues a no objection letter, you can legally work for two companies at the same time. Once a company has cancelled an employment visa, an individual is not permitted to continue working for them until they have another valid visa in place. This also applies in AM's situation, as a residency visa must be in place to work. Provided a formal application for a visa is made to the relevant free zone or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation by company B prior to AM starting work, he can work before the visa is finalised.

I see no reason why AM would not be able to travel when he is between jobs. The bank has no reason to take action and request a travel ban if no repayments have been missed and there are other funds in the account. The bank itself cannot place such a ban on people and must apply for this at the courts and get an approval from a judge.

As there are outstanding debts, the bank will most likely put a freeze on the UAE bank account and this is not likely to be lifted until they have seen a new employment visa and possibly after the first salary payment is made. Freezing an account does mean a person cannot travel, as a travel ban is a separate issue. This is often the case where the last payment from an employer is marked as ‘final salary’. Banks will often use this payment, which should include any end-of-service gratuity, to reduce the outstanding amount.

I am expecting my current employer to terminate my job as there is "no longer a place for me". However, my contract is still valid for another 16 months. How can I ensure I am paid what is due in accordance with the labour law? I do not want to be taken advantage of. Other colleagues have been terminated with vague excuses and threats of a ban if they don’t agree, scaring them to accept whatever conditions and settlement is offered. RA, Sharjah

If a company has financial issues and there is no longer a role for an individual, they are permitted to terminate an employee for this reason. RA is on a fixed-term contract and he is therefore entitled to compensation in accordance with Article 115 of UAE Labour Law. This states: “Should the employment contract be of a determined term, he shall be bound to compensate the worker for the damage incurred thereto, provided that the compensation amount does not exceed in any case the total wage due for the period of three months or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.”

If an employee leaves a job because the employer has terminated the position, they cannot receive an employment or immigration ban. They must also be paid any end-of-service gratuity due to them.

If the employer does not comply with the law then RA should register a case against them with the MoHRE (telephone: 800 66473) or his local Tasheel office.

My brother lives in Australia and would like to visit me in Abu Dhabi. He has a criminal record for a couple of minor offences from over 10 years ago and in the past a visa request for the US was turned down. Will he have issues entering the UAE? He is worried about visiting in case there is a problem. SK, Abu Dhabi

I understand there is no system to check the past records from other countries when someone enters the UAE and no questions are asked when someone holds a passport from one of the many countries, including Australia, that receives a visitor visa on arrival. It is unlikely there will be an issue unless an individual is on an Interpol list or wanted on an international arrest warrant, which is not the case here.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 25 years’ experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

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

Updated: March 23, 2019 01:51 PM


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