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Minimum salary level for Filipinos (OFWs) in UAE (Dubai)?

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:04 AM

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Question Minimum salary level for Filipinos (OFWs) in UAE (Dubai)?

Last year, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment which also has two Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, set a minimum salary for OFWs in UAE at USD400 a month.

However, I have not heard whether the UAE governments in all the emirates honor this Philippine legal requirement or not.

It is my understanding that this is only the Philippine legal requirement, which UAE government has no obligation to enforce. In another words, unless you get USD400/month or more on your employment contract from UAE, you are not going to get registered by the Filipino government as the government wouldn’t allow you to go to UAE to work for less than USD400/month. However if you are already in UAE, the employer would pay whatever they want as long as you and your employer have agreement on it.

Can anyone clarify whether there are agreements between the Filipino and UAE emirates’ governments to set the monthly minimum salary for OFWs at US$400?

It is also my understanding that each Emirate in United Arabia Emirates could have their own law (not entirely sure if they can have their own labor law).

Also would like to know the salary levels of the professional jobs commonly held by Filipinos.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:27 AM
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Lightbulb Re: Minimum salary level for Filipinos (OFWs) in UAE (Dubai)?

Not sure about the minimum salary but this is the going salaries in Dubai and UAE from 2006 and 2010.

Table of average wages and salary ranges for Dubai. Similar wages are paid in Abu Dhabi, maybe slightly less in other emirates. All figures are monthly in UAE dirhams (AED) (3.67 dhs = US$1). Actual figure will depend on qualifications, experience, employee nationality, and employer mood (Source: dubaifaqs.com)

For more clear view, visit OFW Forum Gallery for the UAE and Dubai salary charts:

Salaries in Dubai and UAE? (Salary chart by professions) - Forum Photo Gallery - Overseas Filipino Worker Community

Last edited by hfl : 08-08-2010 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Minimum salary level for Filipinos (OFWs) in UAE (Dubai)?

  • *Professional means a profession for which a higher level qualification is required, e.g. lawyer, architect, engineer, etc. Salary range is for those employed by a company. Professionals who work for themselves can earn between 0 (or less until going bust) and $lot$ per month (>100k is quite possible).
  • Real Estate brokers are not included since the range is so variable as to be meaningless. Many were easily earnings tens of thousands of dirhams per month at the height of the property boom in 2007-2008, some were earning 100,000s per month, and even more if they were trading properties themselves. At the end of 2008 and into 2009 as the Dubai property market crashed and burned, they're probably the same ones we saw in a report of ex-property brokers offering private taxi services to scrape by.
  • Some salaries for new employment categories for 2010 based on Gulf News / Charterhouse report 06 February 2010. Others based on positions advertised in the press, online, or with recruitment agencies
There is a range of Dubai jobs much the same as in any city but a larger range of incomes than many expats are familiar with for several reasons. Apart from teachers and maids, there is no minimum salary so market forces determine a fair (or unfair wage). As the UAE, and Dubai in particular, has a mixture of nationalities, market rates tend to be governed by what is enough to lure foreign nationals away from their home country, not what is a fair wage relative to what others are earning for the same work in the UAE. Hence Indian teachers end up getting paid a tenth of what Western teachers do, and manual laborers and maids are paid what seems to be a pittance in the eyes of patronising Western journalists (who cleverly demonstrate their ignorance of basic economics), but is a kings ransom in the eyes of all their compatriots lining up at home trying to get a visa to come and work in the UAE. That comment isn't intended to dismiss the very real difficulties facing the working class in the UAE but there are other issues that are more important than the actual salary level - the non-payment of wages for months at a time, the extortionate fees charged in their home country to bring them to the UAE, the difficult living conditions in some of the camps, the harsh and unsafe working conditions on some of the construction sites.
  • Manual labor type jobs are demanding and poorly paid. Most workers in this type of employment in Dubai come from the Asian sub-continent, especially India and Pakistan. It is not uncommon to work 12 hours per day 7 days per week. A critical Human Rights Watch (HRW) report from 11 November 2006 ("Building Towers, Cheating Workers") about the UAE construction industry claimed wages as low as 370 dhs per month were being paid.
  • Maids, nannies, drivers, gardeners, security guards work long hours, six or seven days a week, and are poorly paid (security guards usually get more). There's supposed to be a minimum wage of 700 dhs/mth for Filipino and Indonesian maids according to agreements signed between the UAE and their respective governments in mid-2006.
  • Tourism related and service sector jobs are relatively poorly paid and quite demanding. Most people working in these jobs come from Asia especially the Phillippines. Some sectors, for example aircrew, have all nationalities represented, and working conditions and salaries are much better.
  • The nursing sector also seems to attract many Filipinas/Philippinos/Phillippinos. The work is demanding and not so well paid.
  • Taxi drivers can earn 400 dhs in an eight hour day according to Dubai Transport in 2006. But according to reports from taxi drivers, they earn less than that, and it takes 12+ hours a day. Drivers receive a percentage of their daily takings as income (30% to 40%) which works out to 1000-3000 dhs monthly.
  • Secretaries and Receptionists will earn low wages for long hours. Upgrade to a PA (Personal Assistant) for the boss of a large company and salary becomes more attractive, especially if you're fluent in English and Arabic. Substantial salaries, on a par with other professionals, are possible in some cases.
  • Middle management are usually Asian - especially India - or expat Arab. Pay can be mediocre to reasonable or even better for well trained executives in large corporations.
  • Teaching, curiously, is one of the few professions with a minimum wage requirement of 2000 dhs/mth (not always adhered to though). Salaries in government or Indian schools are 1500-4000 dhs per month. English curriculum and other western oriented private schools have salaries of 5,000-15,000 dhs per month and a handful of the better ones pay up to 20,000 dhs per month. Salary sometimes varies in the same school depending on the nationality of the teacher (passport rather than DNA is the main factor although where the teaching qualification came from can make a difference - western ones being worth more).
  • Professionals such as architects, lawyers, accountants, pilots, teachers, are represented by all nationalities but the more reputable companies and higher level jobs usually require western trained personnel. Salaries range from poor to very good.
  • Doctors are a variety of nationalities and usually western trained. Salaries mediocre to good depending on the hospital/clinic and nationality of the doctor (or where s/he trained).
  • Project Managers or Directors were able to command ever increasing salaries during 2006-2008 and the building boom boomed, but going into 2009 the demand supply equation reversed. They're not quite at the level of paying their employer to be allowed to keep their jobs but many are sweating, even in their a/c chilled offices.
  • Senior management tend to be western or UAE nationals and these jobs are well-paid but are usually demanding (it's the board of directors and executives that play golf, not the foremen and managers).
  • CEOs and Managing Directors for large companies usually get very well paid but even top level management for smaller companies should be on a decent wicket.
  • Private investment bankers were getting an average of 80,000-90,000 dhs per month according to a 2007 survey by Dunn Consultancy. And probably more in 2008. Now you know why your pension fund evaporated. Whatever they're getting in the aftermath of the financial burnout of 2008 and 2009 is bound to be far too much.
Benefits can include company housing, housing paid for by the company but found yourself, a housing allowance (usually not enough to find something suitable), a car or transport allowance, private medical insurance - check carefully who with and the terms and conditions, and a yearly or more frequent return ticket to your home country (or sometimes cash in lieu of a ticket).

A gratuity is paid at the end of employment and depends on various factors. The law specifies a certain minimum but your own contract can improve on that. Not everyone is automatically entitled to a gratuity - it depends on the type of contract (fixed term or unlimited) and under what circumstances you terminate your employment. It is intended to compensate for the lack of a pension for expatriates (there is one, but only for UAE nationals).

There is no income tax in the UAE, although occasionally the possibility is discussed. It's unlikely to happen in the near future, and very unlikely unless somewhere like Saudi Arabia considers it seriously. Depending on where you come from, and how long you stay in your Dubai job, you may have to pay tax in your home country. Every country is different and you should speak to either your tax department or a tax lawyer/accountant to get definitive information.
Source: dubaifaqs.com

Last edited by hfl : 08-08-2010 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Minimum salary level for Filipinos (OFWs) in UAE (Dubai)?

I'm not quite sure about the Filipino salary issue in the UAE. I've heard some relative comments but not at this level. Besides, this is why I'm thinking my career. I'm considering a career in Project Management in the hope my salary increase. By the way, what's salary expectation for a Project management Professional certified person, I've heard from Firebrand Training that PMP training is essential for anyone planning to work in a project handling profession. But I'm new to this stuff, so how much exactly should I be paying for such courses, so far I've saved up about $2,000.
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