Annual leave in UAE

What Is Annual Leave In UAE 2024? A Complete Guide

Annual leave in UAE emerges as the most significant benefit grant to workers who are provided with time off to recover. In UAE, the workers are eligible for many paid annual leave every year. However, understanding what time off you are entitled to and how to take this leave optimally is essential.

In this article, we will explain the details of the application for annual leave and see what it gives to employees. We will discuss how much leave you are entitled to, the formula to calculate it, and some useful tips to boost your time off. In addition, we will also look at the types as well as the UAE Labor Law for annual leave.

What Is Annual Leave In UAE?

Annual leave in UAE

Annual leave in UAE is a mandatory benefit for the employees granted by the Labor Law. This benefit allows them to relax and recharge energy. Consequently, it is a legal right that must be granted to employees by the employers.

The UAE labor law determines the minimum days of annual leave for an employee. The organization bases the days on the years of service contributed by him or her. Therefore, a longer duration with the same employer entitles an employee to more days of leave.

Furthermore, you can use this vacation leave in one continuous period or divide it into several shorter periods. This depends on an arrangement between the employer and the employee. As a result, this flexibility means that employees can take their time off whenever it is convenient both in the private and professional aspects.

  • The Federal Decree-Law No. (33) ensures that workers who have completed a year of services are granted a paid 30 days annual leave. This is mandatory.
  • Employees who complete six months to one year are granted with two days of paid leave per month.
  • Yet, it is worth mentioning that this is the minimum legal requirement. Some organizations allocate more extensive annual leave to their employees in the UAE. Some employers may offer more additional benefits such as sick leave and personal leave to their leaves.

New Labour Law Rules of Annual Leave UAE

The new UAE Labour Law for Annual Leave in 2024 introduced some significant changes. As a result, employees should be at least entitled to 30 days of annual leave while the minimum was 25 days prior. Another goal of this transformation is to improve work-life balance and employees’ well-being.

Without a doubt, employers have to adjust to these new policies. Violation of rules may result in penalties and fines. In addition, firms must amend their guidelines and disseminate the changes accurately to all staff members.

Now employees will have more free time for relaxation and recovery. Consequently, this should boost the motivation and increase the productivity. Nonetheless, employers need to implement adequate strategies for staff management during vacation time.

The new laws for annual leave in UAE focus on particular employees’ rights. These rules guarantee that all laborers in the UAE get their paid vacation days annually.

  • Each employee gets at least 30 days of paid vacation after working for a year. It applies to all workers, irrespective of their position in the organization.
  • Accrual and Carry-over. Throughout the year as they work, employees earn their annual leave entitlement. However, as distinct from the preceding regulation, normal days off cannot be transferred from one year to the next. The employer’s authorization is necessary for exceptional situations.

Also, if it was accumulated in a year, the employment comes to an end.

  • Additional Points. Employees who complete six months but less than one year of continuous service are awarded with two days of paid leave for each month they have worked. It is worth mentioning that these are just the minimum criteria. Employers can better their leave policies by inserting them in their employment contracts.

Annual Leave Policies in the UAE 

The annual leave UAE Labor Law has policies set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.  In the United Arab Emirates, most companies follow leave policies that allow workers to request paid time off during their annual leave.

Annual leave UAE labor law grants rather generous vacation time (paid annual leave) to all its workers:

  • Minimum entitlement. All employees who have spent a year on the job have the legal right to a minimum holiday leave of 30 days. That is the request by UAE Labour Law in Dubai.
  • Pro-rated leave. Workers who have worked with an organization for less than one year may take two half-working days off per month after the completion of six months of service.
  • Additional leave. Employees who have been with the organization for more than 4 years shall enjoy an additional 6 days of annual leave which puts them on a total of 36 days.
  • Furthermore, you must bear in mind the fact that these are the minimal legal requirements. Many companies in the UAE are a bit more tolerant when it comes to employees’ annual leave.

However, though, employers may give more than just the leave benefit to you, like sick days, compassionate days, and maternity leave.

Thus, employers leave policy can always vary. For this reason, it is always reasonable to check with your company to know exactly what is the policy in your case.

Types of Leaves in the UAE 

Paid Leaves

The United Arab Emirates provides employees some allowances to balance between work and life and hence maintain the well-being of their lives.

  • Annual Leave in UAE. employees having a year service record are granted 30 days of leave allowance. Which is well deserved for them to come back fresh and to have more quality time with their loved ones.

Please note that to request an annual leave in UAE you must first issue a letter for annual leave Besides, you should check the annual leave calculator.

  • Sick Leave: If health issues are prompting the absence of employees from their jobs. The UAE gives them 15 days of paid leave annually upon the completion of the probation period. It empowers them to set their priorities and overcome financial worries, which is important for their well-being.
  • Maternity Leave: This is a great incentive for mothers to continue with their careers since the UAE provides them with maternity leave in UAE for 45 paid leaves. Besides, one can have 45 days of unpaid leave for illness resulting from pregnancy as well. Which means that the employer is providing comprehensive support to pregnant workers.
  • Paternity Leave: Fathers hold the right to receive five paid vacation days following their child’s birth as per the law for paternity leave in UAE.
  • Compassionate Leave: Employees work and receive 5 days of compassionate leave if a close family member dies.

Annual Leave

Annual leave in UAE is a paid leave and also a legal right for all employees in the United Arab Emirates.

  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization stipulates that employees who have been with the company for one year can be provided with paid annual leave that should not be less than 30 days.
  • Employees who have worked for the organization for less than one year may also be eligible to earn some paid annual leave. They accumulate 2 days leave for each month of service to the maximum of 24 days. It should be mentioned that some employers in the UAE may have more liberal leave policies compared to the statutory minimum.
  • In addition to annual leave, the employees in UAE are also entitled to several public holidays that are paid off. These public holidays are not included in the annual leave and are also paid holidays. This means most of the employees in the UAE spend a generous amount of paid time off every year.

Sick Leave

In the case of the UAE, sick leave is one of the available paid benefits for workers. This leave is grant to employees depending on their contract of employment and the particular employer. Even though there are some legal requirements, it still is of little importance.

  • The UAE Labour law creates the minimum title for 15 days paid leave per year. This occurs only after a deferred employee has finished on his/her probation at a given employment. Throughout this initial 15-day period the full salary will be paid to them.
  • During the procurement of next 30 days of sick leave, employees will receive the half of the salary. Nevertheless, one must acknowledge that going beyond the 45 day period of sanctioned unauthorized leave will result to unpaid leave.

Therefore, the employer may not be under obligation, in such cases, to pay the price of the extra days which had been taken by the employee to his/her sickness.

Hence, the employees should have the knowledge of what their sick leave allowance give them according to the contract they have entered into after understanding.

Collaborating with their HR Department is especially useful to get rid of any remaining queries or possibly concerns.

Maternity Leave

UAE is one of the few countries placing a great emphasis on maternity leave. This is a benefit given to female employees to support them throughout pregnancy and during the time of childbirth.

The number of weeks for the maternity leave of UAE workers is different upon each emirate and the industry. Here is a breakdown:

Federal Government:

  • Women will receive 60 days of maternity leave with their full payment.
  • This furlough may start up to 30 days before the anticipated due date of the birth.

Dubai Government:

  • Women employees are likewise given 90 days of fully-paid maternity leave.
  • The members of the crew can file for leave not later than 30 days prior to the expected birth date.

Private Sector:

  • In line with UAEs federal law, women employed in private sector have a right to 60 days of maternity leave.
  • The first twenty two days are with full pay, and the remaining ten days are half.
  • Leave is 30 days which starts 30 days before the expected delivery.

Additional Points:

  • If a case of difficult childbirth has occurred, the employees are likely entitled to additional maternity leaves.
  • A few companies may have maternity leaves extended. Besides, other benefits aside from what is put on the statutes.

This should however be taken with caution as these are general rules and, this could vary based on the employers. You can consult the relevant legal resources and any new information you may need on the specific entitlements.

Parental Leave

Paternity leave in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a paid leave that allows fathers to be with their child following the deliver. This privilege belongs to both public and private sector employees-fathers.

Paternal leave duration in UAE can change according the sector of employment. Fathers engaged in public sector activities receive five days of paid leave, whereas fathers who work for private employers receive five working days of paid leave.

Fathers can use their paternal leave either in the public or private sectors and not later than six months from the birth date of the baby. This option of paternal leave cannot be taken together with other types of leave.

Compassionate Leave 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers compassionate leave to employees under specific circumstances. This leave is intended to provide support during challenging personal situations, such as the death of a family member or a serious illness.

The duration of compassionate leave in the UAE is typically determined by the employer. However, as per the UAE Labour Law, employees are legally entitled to:

  • 5 days of paid leave: upon the death of a spouse.
  • 3 days of paid leave: upon the death of a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild.

It is important to note that exceeding these mandated durations is at the employers discretion. In such cases, additional leave may be granted with or without pay, depending on the employers policies and the specific situation.

While compassionate leave is not a guaranteed right beyond the mandated durations, many employers in the UAE offer it as a form of good practice. However, It is advisable to consult your employment contract in UAE or company handbook. This will help you to understand the specific compassionate leave policy applicable to your situation.

Hajj and Umrah Leave

Hajj and Umrah denote the purposeful kind of leave that is given to employees so that they can travel to perform religion rites in Islam. Nevertheless, they have some special features in the way they are applied and their regulation.

Hajj Leave:

  • Mandatory pilgrimage. Hajj is the compulsory travel to Mecca which worthy-bodied muslim has to perform once in his life.
  • Leave policie. Certain countries, especially in the Middle East, have the incentives by law to pay employees for those who perform Hajj in the government.
  • The private sector regulations and policies for performing Hajj mandate every airline company. This is to apply their own standards and customized legislations according to the visa granted by their country of provided transportation.

Umrah Leave:

  • Non-mandatory pilgrimage. The Umrah is a voluntary pilgrimage and it can be done at any time of the year. While in the case of the Hajj, it is obligatory to do it from the 8th of Zulhijja until the 12th of the same month.
  • No legal entitlement. There is generally no legal consideration regarding Umrah travel being compulsory in the majority of countries.
  • Leave options: Employees who wish to take part in organizing Umrah can request unpaid leave, or they can utilize their allowed annual leave.

Public Holidays

Every year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) marks commemorative days and festivities. These holidays are about celebrating symbolic things and events and religious observances. undefined

  • Islamic holidays. Their dates are calculated according to the lunar calendar which makes the incremental changes each year. The significant Muslim holidays celebrated in UAE include Ramadan falls which signifies the end of fasting in the holy month. Also, Eid al-Adha which marks the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham, and Islamic New Year.
  • National holidays. These holidays celebrate the UAEs foundation and heritage. These holidays are:

National Day, on December 2nd, which is a representation of unity of the emirates. Commemoration Day which is on 30th of November, commemorates the UAEs martyrs. In addition to it, Accession Day, that follows on December 2nd, commemorates the day of succession to power of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Emir of Sheikh Khalifa.

Unpaid Leaves 

In the United Arab Emirates, people working under the umbrella of UAE Labour Law are grant with a type of leave with pay.. Such as sick leave, pregnancy leave, maternity leave, among others. On the contrary, the law gives some consent for unpaid leave.

Employees may apply for unpaid leave. Since this does not fall under the range of their employment contract, the staff member still needs his/her employers agreement. Hence, two sides must sort out the conditions of the leave, including its running time and whether the employee will remain at their place after return back.

Employers have no lawful obligation to grant employees with unpaid leaves of absence. Thus, may, at their sole discretion, either approve or deny such requests. It is essential to note that any unpaid leave taken from work without permission can entail certain consequences, including disciplinary action and even the dismissal of an employee.

Study Leave

Unpaid study leave for the employees is not yet governed by the current UAE labor law. As a result, employers will have the option to choose whether or not to provide unpaid education leave.

Employers in the UAE might provide unpaid study leave as one of the benefits of job. In such cases, the terms and conditions, including the length of the leave and the approval process, would be adopted by the company as per its policies.

For you to take study leave unpaid, it is advisable that you discuss the request with your employer for him to make a decision. They will detail their policy regarding unpaid leave, gauge if they are able to accommodate your needs.

Other Considerations

In addition to the mandated annual leave in UAE, here are some other important considerations regarding leaves in this nation:

  • Public holidays are separate. Holidays generally do not fall within the scope of a government workers annual vacation. This means that you must request them separately to enjoy them.
  • Company-specific leaves. Some employers are very generous because they contribute more paid vacation days. They can be grant for example on seniority, high work productivity, the specific internal policies of the organizations.
  • Leave encashment. In some cases, the provided information for employer authorization, also part of the compensation. However, this is not an obligation and depends on company policy.

Sabbatical Leave 

In United Arab Emirates, sabbatical leave has a particular sense which is associated with the compulsory national service.

The UAE Labour law specifies that the Emirati male private sector workers are grant with an paid national service leave. This is only during which they can complete their compulsory national service to the nation. The amount of time away can range up to 3 years or close to 11 months.

It is important to note that the service is not mandatory on the female participants, though they are eligible to volunteer.

  • Nowadays in the Private Sector, only Emirati males who are on national duty are allowed to receive paid leave.
  • It may be between from 11 months to 3 years.
  • On the other hand, on heightened leave, an employee is usually grant with about 50% of their gross salary. Which excludes allowances and extra payments.

Here it is important to mention that this are the only circumstances stipulated in UAE Labour Law which relate to “sabbatical leave”. Sabbatical leave can be grant only for some specific reasons which are not personal or for doing further education or travelling.

Nevertheless there may be some companies in the UAE who will provide unpaid leave or banked up years of annual holidays that serve the purpose of sabbatical. It is advisable you to verify if your particular employer provides similar programs.

Notice Period Leaves

The UAE prescribes a notice period leave which is the required time frame for providing notice to either an employee or an employer who is terminating a contract of employment.

This provision not only allows for a smooth transition period but also gives both parties ample time to achieve their agreed-upon responsibilities.

  • A minimum of 30 working days is the notice period in the UAE.
  • This refers to the unlimited contracts, where there is no defined or limited times frame for employment.
  • Moreover, the employer and the employee also have the freedom to decide for a longer notice period, and it can reach to a maximum of 90 days.
  • What makes clear that this 15-day notice is not a leave period.
  • This period of time should be conducted from the work place as well, and all the duties should be covered.
  • They are entitled to full salary, including the part which came last in base pay.

See More: Working Hours In UAE According To Labour Law

Important Facts About Annual Leaves in the UAE  

To apply for this period of leave it is necessary to prepare a letter for annual leave. Letter for annual leave in UAE is a document made by an employee for asking their employer to approve the request for paid leave.

In the letter, the employee need to mention explicitly:

  • The dates of leave
  • Amount of leave days you want.
  • Details (optional) like reason for the leave.

Moreover, make sure you have everything in order. Which leaves enough time for the employer to have the request reviewed and permitted.

Additional Tips:

  • You can say the amount of remaining leave if known, in your opening paragraph.
  • You have the choice between a casual and formal type of language setting that complies with your corporate culture.
  • It is essential for you to submit the leave letter at least the required number of days before it becomes effective according to your companys leave policy.

Annual leave calculator in the United Arab Emirates normally is not a common tool. This is because the allowed leaves are related to the employees years of service with the exception of the Labour Law in the United Arab Emirates.

  • In the Emirati law, the employees are grant with a minimum of 30 days annual compensatory leave per year.

The law is compulsory request by UAE Labour Law. This is for all the full-time employees that spent at least 1 year of continuous service with the same employer.

  • Those who have been working for the organization for less than six months do not have the right to the benefit of annual leave.
  • Those who have also completed the six-month work but covering the period up to one year are grant with two days off for each month of service they complete.
  • Following 1-year work in the organization the staff members can take 1-month leave as annual one.
  • An employee who has been choose by a company for more than one year is able to accrue further leave days based on the years of service a company has.
  • And the maximum number of leave days an employee can be grant after the service period of more than one year is 42.

Scheduling and Notification:

  • Under the Article 72 of the UAE Labour Law you are grant with an annual leave. However, the employers still have the right to establish specific days, based upon the organizational needs.
  • You need to be conscious to notify you of such a designated leave period at least one month in advance. Such schedule will allow you to organize effectively your rest times.

These breaks serve as a replenishment process for you to replenish and go back to work with new energy and concentration.


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers employees a substantial amount of paid vacation every year compared to other countries.

  • There is a certain flexibility as well in how the employees can use their time off. Workers will be able to split their vacations days into smaller portions. Also, they can use it as a break from work throughout the year or save it for long vacations.
  • Some UAE employers may even provide the workers with extra days of leave on top of the legal compulsory ones.

However, it is important to note that companies have different leave policies. Consequently, you should always find out from your employer how many leave days you have, when you can take your days off, and how their leave policies work.

How to Apply for Annual Leaves?

Application for annual leave in the United Arab Emirates involves several steps:

  • Verify your leave entitlement. The company will provide a policy that outlines the number of annual leave days you have in each year. You will typically find this information in your employment contract or company handbook.
  • Submit a leave request. Once you have determined your leave entitlement and chosen your desired dates, submit a formal leave request to your manager. Submit this request in writing either through email or a company leave management system.
  • Await approval. Your manager will review your leave request and make a decision. They may approve your request, request adjustments to the dates, or deny your request due to workload or other factors.

Remember to inform your colleagues and delegate any outstanding tasks before your leave begins.

Check Your Contract and Company Policy

To determine your exact annual leave in UAE, it is advisable that you consult two key documents:

  • Your employment contract. This section should provide the definite details of your paid leave allowance. Such as the number of days that are per year, accrual rate and any further information that could limit your employer such as time restrictions.
  • Company policy documents. It is possible that your organization implements an additional leave policy document which may outline further procedures of leave taking. This include specific agenda for requesting leave, blackout periods, or however many days of leave in any given year..

Therefore, before applying for annual leaves, you have to thoroughly review the contract and company policy documents. This will definitely help you to understand fully what your annual leave rights are and avoid any future fiascos.

How To Plan Your Leave Dates?

Gather Information:

  • First, see to it whether you are eligible for leave in your company.

Consider Public Holidays:

  • Second, look up the official UAE public holiday calendar for 2024. Take advantage of long weekends is a smart way to organize your vacation in order to spend more time away.

Communicate Effectively:

  • After creating a preliminary plan, you should talk with your boss regarding the dates for your leave at an early stage. Explain the reasons and indicate that presence is not crucial for the projects that are of the highest importance.
  • Make sure you communication is lucid, if you want the approval of your favorite leave timing.

How To Submit Your Leave Request?

To request your annual leave in UAE, follow these steps:

  • Send a letter to the manager from your side. First, you need to indicate the precise dates you like to be on leave. Which is part of annual leave proposal.
  • Make your request ahead of time. This is especially relevant during the rush hours, as it helps your leader make the suitable staffing appointments.
  • Look forward for, a confirmation from your manager. Having provided you with a leave approval request, you will receive the confirmation mail. Now it is time for you to reward yourself after hard work.

Approval Process

Obtaining of annual leave approvals from the UAE has not been a problem, as the process is simple.

  • Firstly, the employees have to submit their leave applications with some precaution like the advance of 15 days is compulsory. You can do this either through an office portal or by explicitly telling directly the supervisor.
  • Moreover, some firms might possibly demand employees to indicate the reason behind their trip.
  • Once submitted, the line manager carefully examines the request application and propose solution that accommodates factors like workload and staffing needs before granting.
  • Ultimately, it is crucial for employees to schedule their shifts ahead of time. This is to assure fairness in schedules and to enable smooth continuation of work by their co-workers.

Confirmation and Documentation


  • Employees in the UAE have an annual leave right, according to law. The contract specifies the exact number of leave days. After the leave application is confirm by the employer, a written notice is also request. The notification should indicate the leave period including the begining and the end dates.


  • In fact, there are no specific or necessary documents to ask for annual leave.
  • This is because some companies have their internal policies for this intention which include submitting additional documents. Such forms could involve a leave request, a flight schedule for an overseas trip, or an invitation for a planned event.
  • It is advisable that you confer with your manager or the Human Resource department. This is to confirm whether they have any additional requirements regarding the documentation.

Annual Leave Request Email Template

Annual leave in UAE

Subject: Annual Leave Request – [Your Name]

Dear [Managers Name],

I would like to spend my vacation time from [Start Date] until [End Date]. For this purpose I would like to submit a request for a leave of absence for these dates.

In complete, I would concretely use [Number] days for my working days leave. I researched the policy in place at the company and I know I still have leave quota that provides for this absence.

Prior to beginning my leave, I will ensure that I complete my immediate tasks and assign a colleague with the ongoing projects and tasks that I am in charge of.

Beforehand, thank you for taking the time to look over my application. I hope to receive your feedback as well.


[Your Name]

Services Provided By RAAD Recruitment

Final Words

To sum up, the annual leave in UAE is a considerable element of work using employees well-deserved time to relax. The required minimum of 1 month annually makes certain a healthy and balanced work-life equilibrium plus motivate worker productivity.

Furthermore extra leave allocations based upon elements like seniority together with individual scenarios give higher versatility as well as assistance staff member well-being.

If you have interest to discover more about this topic as well as various other, you can go to our blog page now!


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