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The United Arab Emirates Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation (Annual Leave), Pilgrimage Leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on February 13, 2024.

Paid Time Off in the United Arab Emirates

Vacation (Annual Leave) Quota

30 days

The duration of annual leave (vacation) for regular employees who served for 12 months in the company in the UAE is 30 days.

However, even employees who served less than 12 months might be entitled to partial annual leave. An employee becomes eligible for part of their vacation entitlement after 6 months of service; they will receive 2 days of vacation for each month of work.

Carry Over

The employer has the authority to set the dates for taking vacation and can split it into multiple segments if needed. It’s expected that an employee takes vacation within the given year, but an employer may allow a carryover. In that case, unused vacation days may be transferred from one year to the following, but only one.

Payout of Annual Leave

UAE leave laws mandate that employers must ensure that employees receive their payment for vacation leave before they go on leave.

Special Leave for Pilgrimage (Hajj)

30 unpaid days (once in their career)

Employees in the UAE are also entitled to 30 days of unpaid pilgrimage leave once during their employment. This leave is intended for the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca in Saudi Arabia or visits to other Islamic sacred places.

Sick Leave in the United Arab Emirates

Up to 90 days of partially paid leave.

Employees in the United Arab Emirates receive 45 days of paid sick leave per year and an additional 45 days of unpaid leave. This entitlement is given to an employee after his or her probation period (generally at least 3 months) is finished.

A medical certificate must be submitted within 48 hours of the beginning of the leave.


Employees are paid during sick leave in the following manner:

  • The first 15 days are fully paid (100% of regular salary);
  • The following 30 days are half-paid (50%);
  • The following 45 days are unpaid (0%).

Once these 90 days are over, the employer is allowed to dismiss an employee from a job.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in the UAE

60 days

An employee who is an expectant mother in the UAE is entitled to 60 days of maternity leave. This leave may start 30 days before the due date.

An employee must have served at least 1 year with the present employer to be eligible for maternity leave. An employee also must present an official medical certificate confirming her pregnancy.

According to UAE leave laws, an employee on maternity leave is not subject to termination.


Maternity leave is paid in the following manner:

  • The first 45 days are fully paid;
  • The following 15 days are half-paid (50% of an employee’s salary).

Paternity Leave in the UAE

5 days

An employee who is the father of a newborn child receives 5 days of paternity (parental) leave.

Bereavement Leave in the UAE

3 days (or 5 for a death of a spouse).

Employees in the United Arab Emirates are entitled to paid leave for:

  • 5 days in the unfortunate event of the death of a spouse;
  • 3 days in the unfortunate event of the death of a father, mother, sister, brother, grandparent, grandson, or son.

Jury Duty Leave in the UAE

There is no legal definition of jury duty leave.

Military Leave in the UAE

There is no law defining military leave.

Voting Leave in the UAE

There is no law defining voting leave.

Public Holidays in The United Arab Emirates for 2024

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
April 8 to April 12 Eid al-Fitr Holiday
Jun 15 Arafat Day
Jun 16 to Jun 18 Eid al-Adha
Jul 7 Islamic New Year
September 15 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
December 1 Commemoration Day
December 2 & 3 National Day

Employees have the right to day off and receive full wages on a public holiday.

Sources for the UAE Leave Laws

  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/united-arab-emirates

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide United Arab Emirates, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-arab-emirates/

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in the United Arab Emirates, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/united-arab-emirates

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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