Here is all you need to know about UAE weekend change
08 Dec 2021
A bird’s eye view of the Burj Khalifa.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE slashed its official working week to four-and-a-half days and moving its weekend to Saturday and Sunday in a major shift aimed at improving competitiveness, officials said on Tuesday.
The UAE has once again become the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week that is shorter than the global five-day week. According to the law, the public sector employees in the UAE will work for 8 hours a day for four days a week.
The decision applies to all entities in the federal government sector in the country, where the official working hours will be based on the new decision from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm from Monday to Thursday (8 working hours), and from 7.30 am to 12:00 noon on Friday (4 and a half hours), and working hours in government schools in the country will be announced later.
Schools in Dubai will follow the new four-and-a-half-day workweek announced by the UAE government.
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai confirmed that “the UAE government’s decision to change the weekly work system includes the private education sector in Dubai.”
The authority said: “We will work with our colleagues in the educational community in Dubai to ensure a smooth transition in line with the new decision.”
Abu Dhabi Schools:
The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) announced that it is changing the school working days all across Abu Dhabi.
The ADEK said on Twitter, “Starting January 2022, Abu Dhabi Private & Charter Schools will follow the new working days schedule announced by the Government of Abu Dhabi.
School days: Monday - Thursday (Full day), Friday (Half day)
Weekends: Saturday — Sunday
Stay tuned for more details!”
The UAE government announced the new system of weekly work for the federal government sector in the country, to be four and a half working days, from Monday to Thursday, and half working days on Friday, and the weekly holiday will be on Saturday and Sunday, starting from Jan.1, 2022, provided that Sunday Jan.2 is an official holiday.
Flexible working hours:
The new system will include the possibility of applying flexible working hours and the remote work system on Friday in the federal authorities, provided the federal authorities approve the implementation mechanisms, and as required by the interest of the workflow in these authorities.
Also, according to the decision, the timing of the Friday sermon and Friday prayers was standardised, to be 1:15 in the afternoon at the state level throughout the year.
Private companies in the UAE will have flexibility to choose their working week, a UAE minister said, after the announcement of a new a working week of four and a half days with a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the start of next year.
The move is a major shift aimed at improving competitiveness. The UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar said theprivate sector would have flexibility to choose the weekend for their employees.
“Each company, depending on the sector they operate in and what suits and serves their business best, can choose the weekend they decide for their employee,” Abdulrahman Al Awar told Reuters.
The minister said weekend change would hopefully attract more capital to stock markets and talent to the UAE economy.
The UAE Central Bank will also change working hours to comply with new UAE weekend. The minister said change in working hours will enhance integration of UAE banking sector with banking community globally.
The new system of weekly working hours for the UAE government, which is scheduled to be implemented as of Jan.1, 2022, achieves harmony with international markets and enhances the country’s global competitiveness in the economy and business sector.
According to economists, the new work system for UAE government employees is a new experience that the countries of the region will anticipate to benefit from its results, expecting this approach to achieve several benefits, most notably increasing the attractiveness of foreign investment, improving the trade balance, increasing economic growth, consolidating the UAE’s position on the global economic map, and revitalising Domestic tourism.
Economist Mohammed Ali Yassin, CEO of strategies and clients at Al Dhabi Capital, said, “The new system of government work in the UAE enhances the country’s global competitiveness and harmony with international financial markets, which provides for settlements and reduces burdens in the financial sector.”