UAE Work Week Will Soon Be Only Four and a Half Days

UAE Work Weeks Will Soon Be Only Four and a Half Days

It’s also the first country in the Middle East to have extended weekends!

The United Arab Emirates is the latest country to shift to shorter work weeks, in an effort to “boost productivity and improve work-life balance.” 

Starting 1 Jan 2022, UAE work weeks will only be four and a half days. Weekends will run from 12 noon on Fridays till Sunday evenings. This new structure will also allow the country to strengthen ties with global markets, as parts of its initiative to attract more foreign investments and businesses. 

Also read: Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Seoul Handled the Pandemic Best, a New Report Says

What will the new UAE work week look like?

Like most Gulf nations that are predominantly Muslim, the UAE normally operates on a Sunday-to-Thursday schedule; Friday is reserved as the sacred day of worship. Now, the new working schedule will be from 7.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Thursday, and  7.30am to 12pm Friday. Some employees might also have options on Fridays to work from home and/or have flexible hours

UAE work week

Image credit: Bojan89 via Canva Pro

In a statement to Reuters, the government said this move would “ensure smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international business links and opportunities for UAE-based and multinational firms.”

As of writing, the UAE’s 4.5-day work week is applicable to federal employees. All private schools in Dubai will also shift to this new weekend, as confirmed by a tweet from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. However, it is yet to be confirmed whether or not private companies will follow suit. 

Also read: These Are the Best Cities to Relocate in 2022, According to Experts

It’s no secret that the UAE has been the financial capital of the Middle East for over a decade. But given its recent growing competition with Saudi Arabia, the government is pushing to uphold its regional leadership. 

Similarly, countries such as Japan and Iceland have announced pilot four-day work weeks and trials earlier this year. Their studies have all shown that such schemes improve employee productivity and work-life balance

Featured image credit: eli_asenova via Canva Pro

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Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.