THE WHAT The UAE has shifted its national weekend to Saturday and Sunday in order to synchronise with global markets, creating a shorter four-and-a-half day working week, according to a report by the FT.com.
THE DETAILS In what is being promoted as the first global shift from a five day working week, employees of UAE federal entities will now work 7.30am to 3:30pm on Monday to Thursday and from 7.30am to 12 noon on Friday.
The private education sector is also following suit, with the education regulator said to be working with the private sector to create a similar arrangement.
According to a statement, workers would be able to work from home on Fridays or agree on a flexitime agreement.
Following the news, the Dubai government has it will adopt the same schedule.
THE WHY The UAE Government has said that the move aims to bolster employees work/life balance, while also ‘increasing performance to advance the UAE’s economic competitiveness.’
According to the statement, the new arrangements will “align the UAE with global markets, ensuring smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with other countries that follow a Saturday/Sunday weekend.”