8.2.3 Does your university as a body have a policy on discrimination in the workplace (including discrimination based on religion, sexuality, gender, age)?

Fostering tolerance and co-existence [1]

To promote tolerance, the UAE established a Ministry for Tolerance and Co-existence, launched the National Tolerance Programme, passed the Anti-discrimination/Anti-hatred law and set up centres to counter extremism.

With more than 200 nationalities living peacefully and successfully in the UAE, the UAE society has been an example of being a tolerant and inclusive country. In July 2015, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa issued Federal Decree Law No. 02 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred. The law aims to protect everyone in the UAE, via a solid legislative ground for the environment of tolerance, co-existence and acceptance. The law fights discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin. In 2016, the UAE Cabinet introduced the first post of the Minister of State for Tolerance, (Renamed as Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence on 5 July 2020).

In the same year, the UAE Cabinet launched the National Tolerance Programme, to boost the values of tolerance and co-existence and to reject attitudes of discrimination and hatred. The UAE also established various centres to counter extremism, including the International Institute for Tolerance, the Hedayah centre and the Sawab centre. The country was also recognised for its initiatives and programmes to advance tolerance and to counter terrorism and extremism in global indices.

Year of Tolerance [2]

On 15 December 2018, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. The announcement aims to highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance and its approach, since its establishment, to be a bridge of communication between peoples of different cultures in a respectful environment that rejects extremism and emphasises on the acceptance of the other.

The Year of Tolerance will focus on five main pillars:

  • to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures by teaching the youth the values of tolerance

  • to solidify the UAE as the global capital for tolerance through a series of initiatives, projects and dialogues between various cultures and civilisations

  • to implement multiple cultural programmes and make contributions to build tolerant communities

  • to focus on legislative and policy-oriented objectives that contribute to mandating cultural and religious tolerance via dialogue

  • to promote tolerance through targeted media initiatives and projects.

Read the Year of Tolerance brand guidelines (PDF, 11.8 MB).

Tolerance Bridge

In November 2017, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid named the pedestrian bridge over the Dubai Canal as the Tolerance Bridge. The announcement was made on the 22nd International Day of Tolerance. The naming reflects tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE community where people from over 200 nationalities live in harmony without racism, discrimination or intolerance.

Mariam Umm Eisa Mosque

Tolerance is a virtue and an intrinsic part of the Islamic culture. It is observed at all levels: individual, organisational and national. With more than 200 nationalities living peacefully and successfully in the UAE, the UAE society has been an undisputed example of being a tolerant and inclusive country. Now, the Federal Government is keen to promote acceptance and understanding as core values of the society.

As a practical application of the principle of tolerance, H. H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, ordered renaming the Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Mosque in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, to 'Mariam, Umm Eisa’ — Arabic for ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’.

Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence

The post of the Minister of State for Tolerance was first introduced in 2016 when H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced structural changes to the 12th Cabinet, reinforcing the UAE's commitment to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in the society. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was the first the Minister of State for Tolerance.

In the Cabinet reshuffle of 2017, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was appointed as Cabinet member and the Minister of Tolerance in the UAE.

Anti-discrimination laws and policies [3]

The UAE has several laws in place that aim to prohibit discrimination and hatred on the basis of caste, race, religion or ethnic origin. Further, there are laws to protect the rights of people of determination (those with special needs) and laws for equal pay to women.

Anti-discrimination/Anti-hatred law

In July 2015, H. H Sheikh Khalifa has issued Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 (PDF, 450 KB) on Combating Discrimination and Hatred, which aims to protect everyone in the UAE and thus bring the concept of social security to a new level. The law aims to fight discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.

Laws on equal wages for women and men

In 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved a law on equal wages and salaries for women and men. Article 32 of the UAE Labour Law 1980 already provides that the female worker shall be granted a wage equal to that as the man is earning if she were performing the same work.

Federal Law No. 29 of 2006

Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 (PDF, 250 KB) protects the rights of people of determination. Article 12 of the law provides: the country guarantees people with special needs equal opportunities in education within all educational, vocational training, adult education and continuing education institutions in regular classes or special classes with the availability of curriculum in sign language or Braille and or any other methods as appropriate.

No discrimination against people of determination in public and private sectors

Resolution No. 43 of 2018 in support of the ‘people of determination’ aims to support the rights of ‘people of determination’ in the field of employment by enabling access to opportunities in the labour market.

The resolution requires concerned government entities to protect the rights of ‘people of determination’ and to ensure their right to work on an equal basis with others and not to be discriminated against.

The resolution stressed the need to provide working and health conditions for ‘people of determination,’ and not to terminate their services or refer them to retirement due to disability or its occurrence after appointment, unless retirement age is reached or a competent medical committee decision states they are not fit to work.

Further, it stipulates that the private sector should be encouraged to integrate ‘people of determination’ into their institutions and grant them exemptions and privileges.

People of Determination protection from abuse policy

The UAE's People of Determination Protection from Abuse Policy condemns all forms of abuse and neglect of people of determination. Abuse and neglect involves depriving people of determination of their basic right to care, rehabilitation, medical care, recreation or community integration. It also condemns using such people to get material profits and not spend on them.

Law on Domestic Workers

The Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers prohibits discrimination among domestic workers on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion, political opinion and national origin or social origin.

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

The UAE is a signatory to the Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. The convention requires signatories to pursue a national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in respect thereof.

legislation_decree_2_2015_discrimination and hate.pdf [6]

FDL_2_2015_discrimination_hate_en.pdf [7]