- Advertisement -

The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that its official work week would last from Monday to Friday, a significant change that brings the Islamic nation home to major financial institutions in line with Western programs.


The decision, which is to take effect next month, makes the Gulf Arab Union one of the few countries in the Middle East to operate western hours instead of a Sunday to Thursday week. Lebanon and Turkey also observe a Monday-Friday work week.

- Advertisement -

Home to the coastal emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE has grown its trade and tourist appeal as it emerges from the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and faces stiff regional competition, particularly with Saudi Arabia. tries to increase.

Skyscraper Dubai has attracted many Western multinationals over the years. Its Dubai International Financial Center has developed under the supervision of independent regulators, providing a convenient time zone for stock traders and market traders to operate between Asian and European markets – this part of the Middle East when markets open in New York. The sun sets in.

“The new working week will bring the UAE’s financial sector closer with global real-time trading and communications-based transactions,” the government statement said. The new schedule aims to “not only promote business opportunities but also add to it.” The Emirates provides its citizens and residents with a flexible, safe and enjoyable lifestyle.”

FILE – A visitor looks over Downtown Dubai with Burj Khalifa (C) as they stand on the observation deck of the Dubai Frame on February 1, 2021.

Government employees will work for half a day on Friday, the traditional Muslim holy day, and then take Saturday and Sunday off, the announcement said.

The statement also said sermons and prayers on Islamic Friday afternoon, called when the sun is perpendicular to the Earth, would instead begin at 1:15 p.m. after employees leave work. There was no immediate reaction from other Middle East countries on the announcement.

The government change will likely see private industry follow suit, as it did in 2006, when the workweek changed from Saturday to Wednesday – an Islamic workweek followed in some Muslim countries such as Iran and Afghanistan. Dubai’s education authorities confirmed that all private schools will move to a single working week on the first day of next year’s term.

The Emirati government praised the decision to make it “the world’s first nation to launch a national working week shorter than the global five-day week” – a reference to Friday becoming only a half-day workday.

The announcement did not say whether private employers would likewise have to offer half-days to their employees on Fridays.

Dubai-based investors, who have deals with West, welcomed the move, hoping it would make their lives easier.

“The weekend turnaround sends a very strong signal to the global investment community,” said Faisal Durrani, partner at real estate consultancy Knight Frank. “The UAE’s pro-business focus has been cemented.”

related: Expo 2020 Dubai: Middle East’s first world fair opens after pandemic delays

United Arab Emirates, the region’s major trade and finance center, Faced with new challenges as Saudi Arabia ramps up its efforts to woo foreign firms And as investors it wants to distance itself from oil.

NS Kingdom has told all multinational firms They will have to move their regional headquarters to Riyadh or risk losing lucrative state contracts by 2024 – creating tensions with the less conservative Dubai that has long favored foreigners with exclusive economic zones, quality schools, lavish penthouses and bars and Allures with a dizzying array of restaurants.

To further promote its brand as a metropolitan hub as it grapples with the economic impacts of the pandemic, UAE has made several changes to its penal code, based on Islamic law, or Sharia. The overhaul has loosened rules on alcohol consumption, unlawful cohabitation of unmarried couples, Rigorous punishment for drug offenses relaxed and allowed, among other things, foreigners to marry, divorce, and acquire property based on the legal system of their country.

As the virus overwhelmed hospitals and triggered lockdowns around the world, the UAE emerged as somewhat of a haven for the world’s rich, thanks to overzealous vaccines and open trade. broke the record number of luxury homes This year in the Emirates.

The country, where foreign residents outnumber locals nearly nine to one, also introduced long-term residency options for talented professionals and their families, issuing special visas to freelancers and remote workers, and allowing wealthy expatriates to retire in Dubai. Gave.