Labour Card

Employees working outside a free zone will receive a labour card, processed by the Ministry of Labour. If you work in a free zone, however, you will receive a free zone ID, which is processed by the free zone authority and can be ready in as little as 24 hours. Both cards feature your photo and details of your employer. The labour card costs Dhs.1,000 (paid for by your company) and is valid for as long as your residence visa is. A free zone ID is valid for either one, two or three years.

You will need to sign your labour contract before the labour card/free zone ID is issued. This contract is printed in both Arabic and English. The plan is for labour cards to be phased out in favour of the Resident ID, but, for now, the labour card is still required. The Ministry of Labour has also voiced plans to replace the labour card with an electronic work permit; this could be issued within 48 hours, compared to the current waiting time of up to 14 days.

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