Hooray! It seems the UAE is finally taking steps in the right direction.

Government employees in Abu Dhabi will now receive an extra month of maternity leave, it has been revealed.

Dads will also receive three days of paternity leave.

The changes to maternity leave came as part of a new law issued by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Emir of Abu Dhabi.

Under the new law, women are allowed three months of paid leave, and are permitted to leave work two hours early to take care of their babies.

Previously, new mothers were only allowed two months of maternity leave, with an hour a day to spend with their newborns.

Government worker Khawla Saleh told The National, “An extra month of maternity and an extra hour a day is great. It well help mothers to breastfeed their child for 30 more days, which is something we try to promote.

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“These extra 30 days do a lot in terms of child development and emotional bonding with the mother.”

While this only applies to government employees in Abu Dhabi, private employees in Dubai have been recently pressuring their companies to increase maternity leave from the current 45 days.

As a result, private company Omnicom Media Group MENA have upped their maternity leave to 90 days, while materials handling provider company Chep have also boosted their leave period to four months. 

Employees can also extend it with their assigned paid and unpaid leave days.

Luckily a wider change could soon be put into motion, as the government has set up a committee to try and help empower women in the workforce in the country. One of the key things they will be reviewing very soon is the amount of paid maternity leave given to new mothers in the emirates.

When or in fact if the amount of maternity leave given to new mothers will increase hasn’t yet been announced, but the government is having the conversation, and we’ll definitely keep you updated.

They will also work to “create a better work environment for women” by establishing things like flexible working hours in government departments and encouraging companies to establish part-time positions.


It wasn’t only maternity leave that received some changes.

The new laws also mean that government entities are obliged to employ and appoint people with disabilities in jobs suitable for their conditions.

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Images: Getty