Role of Women in the UAE Labor Force

Today, the United Arab Emirates is one of the richest and most popular Muslim countries. People dream of coming here not only for tourist purposes but also to get a high-paying job presented on Layboard. The majority of the country's population are expats working in the Emirates under contract.

Arabs treat women very carefully and respectfully: they will give way, let them pass without waiting in line, and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. The attitude to women in the UAE can be called not only the word "respect", but also the word "reverence".

Women's Achievements in the UAE

Economic independence. Women in the UAE have the opportunity to actively participate in the country's economy. Many of them hold important positions in various fields, from banking to technology. It's easy to find a maid or nurse job in the UAE even for foreigners. Women can become entrepreneurs, start their businesses, and show an entrepreneurial spirit.

Education and science. Education is a major pillar of development in the UAE, and women are actively engaged in education. They have the opportunity to pursue higher education, including in scientific fields. Women are among the scientists, researchers, and professionals in various fields.

Sports and culture. Women in the UAE are actively involved in sports and the arts. The Emirates promotes the development of women's sports and the organization of sporting events for women. Women also participate in cultural and artistic initiatives.

Political participation. UAE legislation gives women the right to vote and participate in political processes. Women can run for and are elected to various public organizations and government positions.

Changes in modern society

Convergence with international standards. In recent years, the country has become more active in cooperating with international organizations and engaging in reforms in the area of women's rights. This is helping to bring the country closer to international standards of women's rights.

Changing perceptions. The younger generation of Saudi women is becoming more open-minded and progressive, making demands for equality, education, and professional development.

Political support. The government is actively promoting women's rights, including supporting women's initiatives and ensuring their participation in social, political, and economic spheres.

According to the UAE Constitution, women can receive higher education, drive a car, start a business, work (with the consent of a male guardian), and hold positions in the government on an equal basis with men.

In the public sector, women make up the majority of employees - 66%. Of these, 30% hold managerial positions and 15% hold technical and academic positions. In education and health care, about 75% of positions are also held by women.

According to UAE law, women are entitled to receive equal pay for equal work, marking a significant stride towards gender equality. They enjoy the freedom to choose their professions, even within the government, although this often requires consent from their guardian, typically their father. Notably, two-thirds of public sector positions are occupied by women, contributing to nearly 40% of the total workforce.


Expectant mothers are guaranteed paid maternity leave; however, the duration and whether it is fully or partially paid may vary depending on the employer. The UAE currently lacks an official parental leave policy.


Demonstrating a commitment to empower women and promote female entrepreneurship, the UAE has allocated $50 million to support the Women's Finance Initiative (WeFi) through the World Bank. This initiative aims to mobilize over a million dollars in financing for women entrepreneurs, providing them with the tools and opportunities needed to thrive. The 1000 Leaders Initiative, for instance, exemplifies the UAE's dedication to fostering women's professional growth and encouraging them to assume leadership roles across various sectors. By dispelling societal biases about gender roles and capabilities, these programs are reshaping perceptions.


Women in the UAE are free to establish businesses, and recent years have witnessed increased efforts to support female entrepreneurs. Organizations like Womena have been at the forefront of advocating for women entrepreneurs in the Emirates. Currently, women entrepreneurs represent 10% of the UAE's private sector and hold 15% of the positions on the boards of chambers of commerce and industry throughout the country.


Furthermore, women in the UAE have the autonomy to invest in real estate and secure mortgages. A study revealed that women own 30% of the properties in Dubai. However, it's important for women to draft wills because, in adherence to Islamic law, the inheritance share is influenced by the gender of the heir, with a higher percentage allocated to male heirs.


The UAE's growing global recognition and its unwavering commitment to women's advancement, both professionally and in governance, position the nation as a leader in building a more competitive, knowledge-based economy. Empowering women through education and opportunities is vital for fostering innovation, growth, and overall economic enhancement.


Women in the UAE continue to break barriers in various fields, particularly in the medical sector, where they constitute at least 35% of the healthcare workforce in the country. Nevertheless, continued government and business community support, exemplified by institutions like Dubai Science Park, will be essential to furthering these achievements.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it new challenges, including increased scientific demands and complexity, and the role of women in the UAE and Dubai has become more important than ever. The UAE's Emirates Mars mission was launched from Dubai, where women make up 34% of the mission participants and 80% of the science team.

In general, the United Arab Emirates shows a positive trend in the development of women's rights and opportunities. Women are becoming key participants in the social, economic, and political life of the country, making an important contribution to its progress and development.

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