The official working week in the United Arab Emirates is moving to Monday to Friday. The change will bring the country in line with western schedules.
Set to take effect next month, the change comes as the UAE seeks to bolster its business and tourist appeal as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic and faces stronger regional competition, particularly with Saudi Arabia.
“The new working week will also bring the UAE’s financial sector into closer alignment with global real-time trading and communications-based transactions,” a government statement said, adding that the new schedule aimed to “boost not only trading opportunities but also add to the flexible, secure and enjoyable lifestyle the Emirates offers its citizens and residents”.
All schools will move to the same working week on the first day of next year’s term
Government employees will work a half-day on Friday and then take Saturday and Sunday off, officials said. The statement also said that Islamic Friday midday sermons and prayers would begin at 1.15 pm instead, after employees had left work.
All schools will move to the same working week on the first day of next year’s term.
“The extended weekend comes as part of the UAE’s government efforts to boost work/life balance and enhance social wellbeing,” the statement added.