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Women expats in UAE 'must earn three times more than men' to sponsor children Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Women expats in UAE 'must earn three times more than men' to sponsor children

Expats had to be management level to bring their families to the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 April, 2019

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The UAE has introduced reforms for expats wanting to bring their families to the country, but not all are happy about the changes.
Women expatriates in the UAE must earn around three times as much as men to bring their children to the country, after changes to labour laws were announced this weekend.

UAE media released estimated minimum salary figures for expats to sponsor their families. 

Women would need to earn 10,000 dirhams ($2,700) a month to bring their children to the UAE, while men would only need salaries of between 3,000 ($820) to 4,000 ($1,100) dirhams.

Although the UAE has been applauded for some changes to the law by human rights groups, the fact that women must earn around three times as much as men to sponsor their children has been question by human rights groups.

"While it is good that the UAE is moving away from denying specific sectors of workers from sponsoring their family, the requirement that women must have a significantly larger income than men in order to sponsor their families into the UAE is discriminatory," Hiba Zayadin, Human Rights Watch's assistant researcher for the Middle East and North Africa Division told The New Arab.

"The UAE authorities must revisit this decision and do away with such discrimination."

The cabinet said that requirements for expatriates bringing their families to the UAE would be altered, with workers' salaries now weighed, not their job titles.

"The UAE Cabinet approves new facilitation for expats sponsoring family members and reaffirms UAE's position as a hub for talents and the land of opportunities," UAEGov said on Twitter.

Previously, a decision on whether expatriates could sponsor family members was based on their title.

This usually required them to be at management level or above, meaning skilled workers without degrees were often not allowed to bring their children to the UAE.

The new law appears to mean that management-level or degree holders earning below the minimum wage requirements will be unable to sponsor their families.

The UAE recently came under fire after a woman fled the country, claiming her life was in danger from her family with human rights groups saying the government was not doing enough to protect abused women.

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