Middle East and Africa

Sara Khoja

Partner, Dubai


+971 4 384 4689
+971 50 552 9961

Main office

+ 971 4 384 4000
+ 971 4 384 4004

Sara is a bilingual partner in the MENA Employment Group, recognised as a leading individual in employment by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500, she advises multinationals and local companies, including Government owned entities on the full spectrum of employment issues.

Sara joined the Dubai office in January 2008 establishing the employment team, prior to which she practised employment law in London for six years. She has a focus on multijurisdictional projects and advising employers within the insurance, infrastructure, TMT, hospitality, retail, healthcare, shipping, and aviation sectors. She works with the firm’s Japan desk to advise Japanese clients in the region and has an extensive KSA employment practice as well as a UAE and wider MENA practice.  She is increasingly working with her clients to manage their operations in Africa.

Much of her work involves providing strategic advice to employers in the region enabling them to adopt best practice, deal with global mobility issues (both inbound and outbound), draft and adapt HR policies both global and local to enhance integration and manage employee relations.

Sara also provides extensive training for managers and HR personnel directly for clients and also through a number of training organisations such as JSB, Informa, and Claridon.

  • Advising healthcare sector employers in MENA on regulatory compliance, drafting employment contracts, relationships with distributors and employee arrangements as well as immigration and employment compliance.
  • Advising employers operating in various sectors, including oil and gas, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, TMT, and insurance on compliance with the KSA Nitiqat system, the function of the HRDF and immigration.
  • Providing US based multinational companies in technology and telecommunications industry advice across the GCC on labour law and social security compliance regarding international secondments and temporary work.
  • Advising an international accounting firm on the restructure of its workforce, including introducing reduced hours, sabbaticals, change from full time to part time employment and a reduction in salary and benefits.
  • Advising international shipping and yachting companies on the International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention.
  • Advising a UK Company operating in the Middle East on discrimination issues arising in the workplace (sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, religion, age and sexual harassment) and law compliance.
  • Advising a free zone authority on the adoption and drafting of employment and sponsorship regulations, including advising on the regulatory set up of the free zone and the interplay between federal and emirate law.
  • Drafting a comprehensive set of company policies for a Government owned entity, the application and voluntary adoption of the Executive Regulations provisions and policies applicable within the Abu Dhabi civil service.
  • Advising multinational companies on the application of whistleblowing policies in the UAE and issues under local law in implementing policies developed for compliance with UK and US regulatory obligations.
  • Defending a multinational publicly listed employer operating within the oil and gas sector against a whistleblowing allegations and a claim of retaliation due to whistleblowing detriment claim.


  • Employment

Relevant regions