New UAE weekend explained: What we know so far...
Your questions, answered…
On Tuesday December 7, 2021, the UAE government announced a huge change to the working week. As of January 1, 2022, federal employees will start a four-and-a-half day working week, running from Monday to Friday, with new working hours applied.
Since the announcement many questions have followed. Here’s what we know so far about the change:
What are the new working hours?
Government employees will be required to work between 7.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Thursday, and from 7.30am to 12pm on Fridays. Friday sermons and prayers will be held at 1.15pm throughout the year. There will also be the possibility of flexible working hours and work-from-home options on Fridays.
What days will schools be open?
Following the earlier announcement, it was confirmed that schools will also operate from Monday to Friday as of January 1, 2022.
What about the private sector?
Private companies in the UAE are not required to follow government hours, so it’s unlikely that we’ll get an official announcement changing the private sector working days. Dr. Abdul Rahman Abdul Mannan Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, urged private sector companies to follow suit, however.
Will we get a long weekend for New Year’s Day?
Ordinarily, January 1 would be a public holiday in the UAE. However next year this falls on a Saturday, which is the weekend for most employees. As the weekend shifts over the new year’s break, this is likely to mean the weekend will be Friday December 31, Saturday January 1, and Sunday January 2 for government workers (and down to the discretion of private sector employers).