UAE made a significant change to its National Work Week. UAE has become the first country to have a 4 and half-day work week from 1 January 2022. The country also moved its weekend from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday. Although the government is adopting a 4.5-day work week, most of the private sector retains the five-day week with only a weekend shift.
The “national work week” is mandatory for government bodies from 1 January and changes the regional norm of a full day-off on Friday for Muslim devotions. As per the new schedule, Monday to Thursday, the work timings would be from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm, and on Friday from 7.30 am to 12.00 pm, making it a half-day, said the UAE Government Media Office. Friday prayers at mosques would be held after 1.15 pm.
According to the UAE govt, the extended weekend would help boost work-life balance, enhance social well-being, and increase performance to advance the country’s economic competitiveness. From the economic perspective, the new national working week would better align the UAE with the global market and reflect its strategic status on the global economic map.
This forward-thinking move made the UAE, the only Gulf state that does not have a Friday-Saturday weekend and brings UAE into line with the non-Arab world.