UAE to adopt Saturday and Sunday weekend, with four-and-a-half-day working week
The UAE will adopt a four-and-a-half day working week for public sector workers from 1 January, with the weekend falling on Saturday and Sunday, the federal government announced in a surprise move on Tuesday.
Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday will replace the current Friday and Saturday weekend for federal government workers, the UAE government revealed on Twitter.
The Dubai and Abu Dhabi governments said their workers would adopt the same working practices, The National reported, while other sectors are expected to follow suit.
The tweet added that "#UAE announces today that it will transition" to the new working pattern.
From Monday to Thursday, staff on the new system will work from 7:30am to 3:30pm - eight hours in total. On Fridays, the working day will start at 7:30am and end at midday. This will align closer to working hours in Europe and the US.
Friday's congregational sermon and prayers will now be held after 1:15pm throughout the year across the country.
#UAE announces today that it will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend.— UAEGOV (@UAEmediaoffice) December 7, 2021
All Federal government departments will move to the new weekend from January 1, 2022. pic.twitter.com/tQoa22pai9
Friday prayers in Dubai would usually begin no later than 12:30pm.
There will also be a chance for flexible hours and home-working arrangements on Fridays, media reported.
The extended weekend will increase productivity and give employees a better work-life balance, the UAE government Twitter account said.