Half of Friday as well as the whole of Staurday and Sunday will be considered as the weekend in the United Arab Emirates from the beginning of January 2022. All Federal departments of the UAE will be mandated to follow the new working week.
As such, the UAE has become one of the first nations to enact a shorter working week as opposed to the global standards of five full working days a week. The move was aimed at increasing productivity as well as boosting work-life balance, the UAE government announced.
The new working week will mean that employees will work 8.5 hours a day on Monday to Thursday, and 4.5 hours a day on Fridays. Friday sermons and prayers would be held from 1:15 PM in the afternoons all year long. Employees would also be given the chance to opt for work from home schedules on Fridays, the government announced.
With this move the UAE hopes to align it's working culture and business timings more in line with global nations and businesses that also follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend model. This means a better connection to real-time trading and communications.
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources proposed the new workweek following comprehensive benchmarking and feasibility studies reflecting potential impacts of the move on the economy, on social and family ties and on the overall wellbeing of people in the UAE.