Furniture chain THE One, logistics firm DHL and fashion giant Chalhoub Group topped a survey of the best workplaces in the UAE.
The trio were named in a list of the 45 best employers in the Emirates.
Five Hotels, Hilton hotels, and Dubai Police were ranked fourth, fifth and sixth.
Century Financial, retailer Splash, Dubai Police Academy and Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties rounded out the top 10.
The annual report is compiled by management consultancy Great Place to Work, which runs the survey in 60 countries.
Ibrahim Mougharbel, managing director for the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, said the best employers had managed to strike a balance between "preserving business continuity and maintaining employee well-being" in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Ultimately, protecting businesses also meant protecting employees," he said.
"And protecting employees was not an easy task during a pandemic.
"Our heroes, however, boldly stood by their employees and provided them with the needed mental, physical and financial support."
The survey's authors said top-rated companies focused on morale, training and learning opportunities - and injected some fun into the workplace in what was a difficult time for many.
"Organisations this year also built upon a sense of belonging," they wrote.
"When everything seemed to be at risk, employees were made to feel comfortable with their choices.
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"The stability that was granted to them throughout the pandemic provided them with the chance to get inspired and grow mentally, as well as physically, while seeking to uphold the success of their work-life/personal-life balance."
Among the top 45 workplaces were many retailers and shopping centre stores – who by and large faced a torrid year of stop-start closures and a shift in consumer habits.
Such companies relied on face-to-face interaction with customers once measures were lifted, keeping employees motivated and positive.
Among the retailers listed was Babyshop, Homebox, Emax, Shoexpress, Homecentre and Centrepoint.
The only medical provider in the top 45 was Saudi German Hospital, at No 45, while the Government of Sharjah's eGov department was among the biggest public sector employers listed, in addition to Dubai Police.
The full list:
1) THE One - retail
2) DHL Express - transport/logistics
3) Chalhoub Group - retail/hospitality
4) Five Hotels - hospitality
5) Hilton - hospitality
6) Dubai Police - social services/govt agency
7) Century Financial - financial services and investments
8) Splash - retail
9) Dubai Police Academy - social services/govt agency
10) Aldar Properties - construction and real estate
11) Cisco - information technology
12) Sara Group - retail
13) Bacardi - consumer goods
14) Leminar Group - industrial services/engineering
15) General Mills - manufacturing and goods
16) Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) - F&B
17) Babyshop - retail
18) MSD Pharmaceuticals - biotech and pharma
19) International Beverage and Filling Industries (Star juices) - F&B
20) Homebox - retail
21) Pizza Express - F&B
22) AbbVie Pharmaceuticals - biotech and pharma
23) Emax - retail
24) Max - retail
25) Glander Bunkering - industrial services/ oil & gas
26) Shoexpress - retail
27) Shoemart - retail
28) Apparel Group (Aeropostale, LC Waikiki, Aldo and others) - franchise/retail
29) Westford University College - education
30) Al Dabbagh Group (Gulf General Cooperative Insurance) - financial services and insurance
31) Homecentre - retail
32) SAS UAE - IT
33) Global Food Industries (Al Areesh/Al Ameer) - food products
34) LGT Middle East - private banking
35) Lifestyle - retail
36) Centrepoint - retail
37) Amgen - biotech and pharma
38) ZEE TV - media/television
39) Grohe - bathrooms and kitchens
40) Shoemart - retail
41) Shift Electronics - retail/goods
42) Teleperformance UAE - professional services/outsourcing
43) Government of Sharjah Dept of eGov - social services and govt
44) Servier - biotech and pharma
45) Saudi German Hospitals - healthcare