Help! I’m being fired in the UAE

You’ve always thought it wouldn’t happen to you.

One moment you have a great job in the United Arab Emirates, and the next moment you are full of doubts about yourself, on the street. Or suffering from sleepless nights like you’ve never had before.

 

If things have gone bad for a while at the company where you work, you will usually have sensed your resignation coming. But when it actually happens, the blow often hits hard.

Employers in the UAE aren’t one of those communication talents either, in our experience, so sometimes you are literally on the day you get fired on the street. With your moving box with stuff.

 

The strategy once you’ve been fired in the UAE

We always coordinate our approach and strategy with you. Dismissal cases are tough for me as a lawyer too, because there is a need to act and respond in the UAE in the very short term. So that means switching very quickly, and a lot of weekend and evening work to quickly come to an agreement.

If you don’t want me to act as a lawyer, for example, because you don’t want the situation to escalate, I respect that even though I know that as a mediator I have enough communication skills to de-escalate the situation.

In that case, you do all the communication yourself, and I am only available as an advisor in the background.

Perhaps you are completely exhausted, overstrained or have a burnout. In such a case, I protect you, you don’t have to communicate with your ex-employer at all, and I coordinate with you continuously without causing unnecessary stress.

We also agree on what works best for you. WhatsApp, email, just call. You decide.

 

Why going to a doctor is relevant if you are (almost) fired

You may already feel stressed and your employer is ready with a letter of resignation. My advice in such a situation is always to go to a doctor in the UAE and get a doctor’s certificate before you consider going back to the Netherlands or Belgium. That is not for medical reasons, but for legal reasons. Without such a doctor’s statement from the UAE, you are not officially sick in the UAE, which weakens your position and reduces what I can do for you.

Then I take over the communication with the employer and I guide you and them to a workable solution.

If you would like to return to the Netherlands or Belgium, that is not a big problem. Even then, with some art and flying work, something can be arranged to cancel the visa in the UAE and make an arrangement.

Not everyone thrives in the Middle East. Dealing with the different cultures, with colleagues who are lying or irritably lazy from our North-West European perspective, the slow decision-making processes, the bureaucracy, the lack of results, combined with all the issues surrounding moving a rooted family demand a lot from people.

Money and a house with a pool don’t always make up for that.

And then we have a very common situation, which is that there has been no payment for months. One story after another is made up to keep you working. And you don’t leave yourself as quickly if you still have a lot of money from your employer.

Why you should not hire or agree with a lawyer from the home country of your company

In my experience, a lawyer from your home country is of no use in all the situations described above. It baffles me that a foreign lawyer takes on any cases at all the UAE jurisdiction where she really has no knowledge of at all. From the liability perspective alone, I think that is a huge risk. Nevertheless, it happens very regularly; the lawyer hired by the company in the UAE from the home country of the company, with sometimes an office in the UAE coming up with bullshit statements, perhaps valid in the country of origin of the company you’ve worked for but certainly not in the UAE. (“In the law of Dubai it is stated …” I really read that once from such a lawyer: “The law of Dubai…”.)

In short, do you expect to be fired soon, or are you experiencing burnout and do you actually want to go to Belgium or the Netherlands?

Contact me via hilda@dutchlawyerindeuae.nl , please. Then we will look together at what is the best option for you at this moment.