News Details

Contracting and Outsourcing in the UAE

Date Posted: Fri, 03 Jun, 2022

Contracting and Outsourcing in the UAE

According to Chloe Deery, Business Manager at Hays: An organisation may decide to hire initially on a contract basis if they are unsure about hiring a permanent resource for a specific role. This enables them to evaluate if there is a permanent requirement for this resource and the value of this individual’s capabilities. Many businesses exercise outsourcing as a common risk averse option for hiring before onboarding on a permanent basis, when the individual will then be included on their payroll. Additionally, organisations may use contracting to get around headcount freezes. For example, if an organisation has reached their visa headcount capacity but requires more employees, this can be achieved by hiring contractors because they are not included in the business headcount. Finally, contracting has become a popular method of entry to a new market as it allows an organisation to evaluate a market without committing to a legal entity

A contract position / temporary hire is when an individual is hired to complete a specific job over a predetermined period and for a set amount of money. Contracting is becoming a popular hiring option in the UAE, and across the GCC region, with businesses now using outsourced recruitment as a central facet of both their long-term staffing and wider business strategy. The beginning of 2022 saw a boom in contract recruitment. These trends are cyclical in line with the wider job market, with quiet periods during Ramadan and Eid, also during the summer months. In the UAE in particular demand for contractors is continuing on an upwards trajectory.

There are many additional benefits to hiring contractors; contractors are a temporary solution and do not require an annual salary. Neither will employers need to spend time and money on learning and development for them, thus reducing long-term labour costs. The process for hiring contract employees is typically much quicker than onboarding permanent staff because contractors are hired for delivery of a specific task and do not need training to fit with the organisations long-term goals and culture. Moreover, contractors bring fresh perspectives, and they are often highly skilled with niche experience. Perhaps the most widely acknowledged benefit is that contractors are flexible, allowing a business to respond to market needs and demands as and when they happen.

There are, however, legalities surrounding contracting in the region. In terms of visa options available for contracting in the UAE, there are two types which will vary depending on the client requirements and the candidate situation; full sponsorship which is a 2 year visa and labour card for the contractor, or labour card only for those who are on a sponsored (spouse, family, or golden) visa. Entitlements are very similar to those for full-time employees; all personnel in the UAE need to have private medical insurance, with the price varying depending on age, sex and marital status. All those that work in the private sector are given 22 days annual leave and up to 10 days statutory holidays. Moreover, all contractors are legally entitled to one return flight to their country of origin. Additionally, after 12 months service, all workers are entitled to receive an end of service benefit payment irrespective of whether they resign or their employment is terminated.

It is important to note that contracting is also very common in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and entitlements will be in line with the law of the land.

While contracting may appear complex, an agency can take all the administration and legalities (HR, payroll, visa) away from the organisation, reducing the time and resource required within the company to employ and onboard new hires. Hays works with highly reputable local partners to streamline the process, sourcing high-calibre talent for both technical and non-technical contracting positions across a spectrum of industries, acting as an end-to-end solution to hiring, onboarding and employing. Furthermore, Hays offers payroll solutions for those organisations that have already identified the talent that they wold like to hire as a contractor.

Hays Middle East was established in December 2005 in Dubai, with a second office more recently opened in Abu Dhabi. It has a team of over 50 staff recruiting for positions across various different industries / job categories throughout the GCC region. The Contracting and Outsourcing division provides fixed-term recruitment solutions to employers based within the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, covering a range of industry sectors, both public and private, including: Accountancy & Finance, Construction & Property, HR, Legal, Marketing, Office Support, Oil & Gas, Sales, Supply Chain, and Technology.

Chloe Deery

Business Manager


D: +971 (0) 4 559 5848

T: +971 (0) 4 559 5800