The growing flow of immigrants led to an increasing number of employment agencies in Dubai and the government responded by enabling the Licensing and Regulation of Private Employment Agencies Law in 2011, also known as MR 1283, issued by the Ministry of Labor.
Recruitment agencies in Dubai have the role of placing workforce in permanent job positions within companies and have the same role as the Employment Business program in Dubai, namely to employ workers, help them obtain work permits and outsource them for temporary positions within companies. The MR1283comes as a completion of the launching of Dubai Outsourcing Zone (DOZ), in 2007, that allowed foreign outsourcing companies to establish in Dubai.
In order to open a company in Dubai, that will operate as a recruitment agency, a commercial license is required. The license must allow the company to conduct mediation activities between employer and employee. The license of a Dubai employment agency must be renewed yearly. One of the specifications of the MR 1283 is that only UAE nationals are authorized to open a recruitment company in Dubai and its manager must also be an UAE national. The new law also states that Dubai employment agencies must notify the Ministry about any changes made within the company.
Foreign investors are also allowed to open recruitment agencies within Dubai’s free zones and in the International Financial Centre (DIFC).
In order to obtain the license for the recruitment agency in Dubai, the applicant must have a clean criminal record, deposit a guarantee of 300,000 Dirhams for conducting mediation activities and 1,000,000 Dirhams if conducting temporary employment activities. The Dubai employment agency is also required to have a registered address.
Starting 2015, Dubai recruitment agencies may also apply for brokerage or temporary employment licenses. No matter the type of services the company will supply, the following documents will be filed with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in order to obtain the special license:
In order to align with European countries that are famous for setting the trend on recruitment agencies, the Dubai MR1283 is very strict about the protection of workers appealing to an employment business or a recruitment agency to find a job.
Apart from the guarantee deposited, employment businesses are also required to deposit 2,000 Dirhams for every employee brought in Dubai. For transparency purposes, the law on Licensing and Regulation of Private Employment Agencies states that employment businesses will be held accountable for the obligations a company has towards the worker. Also, employment business and recruitment agencies are required to hire qualified personnel and have an experienced manager.
The Labor Ministry has also set limitations for the fees that Dubai recruitment agencies are allowed to request from possible clients. Employment agencies in Dubai have the obligation to clearly state the terms and conditions of the contract and the duties of the employee. Recruitment agencies in Dubai must also keep records of their employees from the last three years.