From January 2022, United Arab Emirates to switch weekends to Saturday-Sunday, in line with Western schedules

A view of Abu Dhabi. (Representatinal image only.)   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday its official workweek will move to Monday to Friday, a major change that brings the Islamic nation that is home to major financial institutions in line with Western schedules.

The decision, which is to take effect next month, makes the Gulf Arab state, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, one of the few places in the Middle East to operate on Western hours instead of on a Sunday through Thursday working week.

Government employees would work half-a-day on Friday, the traditional Muslim holy day and then take Saturday and Sunday off, the announcement said.


The government shift likely will see private industry and schools follow suit, as they did in 2006, when the week changed from Saturday to Wednesday – an Islamic workweek followed in some Muslim countries, such as Iran and Afghanistan.

The Emirati government hailed the decision as making it “the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week” – a reference to Friday becoming a half-day workday.

“The extended weekend comes as part of the UAE’s government efforts to boost work-life balance and enhance social well-being,” the statement added.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 11:38:53 PM |

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