May 11, 2006
Thank you so much for your informative post. The bank is a private institution and is not govt. owned. You are correct in your assertion that to date, I have only seen the offer of employment. Do you know if the labour contract is provided prior to moving to Dubai?
I spoke with the HR department again today, and they assured me that this was a standard clause in every offer letter they release. Like you mentioned, the HR guy said that labour laws are changing very rapidly, and in all likeliehood, this clause would be non-eonforceable in a few months. He could not recall a single instance where the bank had attempted to enforce this provision in the past. He also assured me that there were many loopholes, including leaving the UAE for a few months while a new visa is processed. Another loophole he mentioned was going to work for a govt. institution, since he said their laws are completely different.
I then spoke with a local lawyer who mentioned that this condition was extremely onerous, and would likely not be enforceable as it was unreasonable. He mentioned that as a Canadian, I would likely be treated differently than say a Pakistani or Indian, as the Canadian embassy has gotten involved in these situations in the past to protect their citizens. This didn't make a lot of sense to me, but I'm completely ignorant when it comes to these things!
I'm not sure how risky this whole thing is, but I'm not feeling any more confident than I was before!