UAE to move its weekends to Saturday and Sunday from next year

The move will come in from the beginning of 2022

Foreign Staff
Tuesday 07 December 2021 13:49
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The United Arab Emirates is to move its weekend to Saturday and Sunday from next year, it has announced.

Traditionally, weekends in the Gulf state, which includes Abu Dhabi and Dubai, fall on Friday and Saturday.

But from 1 January, 2022, it will be moved so the weekend starts on Friday afternoon and ensures the country’s economy falls in line with global markets and western schedules.

The decision will make the UAE one of the few places in the Middle East to operate on western hours instead of a traditional Sunday to Thursday working week.

Under the new rules, government employees will work a half-day on Friday, the traditional Muslim holy day, and then take Saturday and Sunday off, officials said.

Private industry and schools are likely to follow suit, as they did in 2006 when the week changed from Saturday to Wednesday - an Islamic working week 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 only a half-day.

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

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