UAE adopts shorter workweek with western-style weekends

Emiratos Árabes Unidos adopta una semana laboral más corta con fines de semana al estilo occidental

United Arab Emirates (UAE) ad this Tuesday that the country’s government entities will have a weekend from Saturday to Sunday, while the work week will be reduced to four and a half days.

As detailed by the Government of the country, the new working hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, while on Friday the government entities will have a reduced working hours until 12:00. Also, on Friday employees will be able to opt for flexible working hours or work from home.

The measure, aimed at “boosting productivity and improving work-life balance”, will take effect next January 1, 2022 for all departments of the federal government.

According to the news agency YOU, UAE became the world’s first nation in adopting a shorter workweek domestically than the international five-business-day week. Until now, the country’s work week, like that of other Persian Gulf nations, ran from Sunday to Thursday.

Although no changes in working hours have been announced for the private sector to date, some experts hope the move could attract international investors to the country.

“This will align the UAE with global markets and make it easier for international corporations to do business,” said Bloomberg Nabil Alyousuf, CEO of Dubai-based International Advisory Group. “The number of days we do business with the rest of the world will increase, which will promote trade,” he said.

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