UAE Moving to a 4.5-Day Week to ‘Boost Productivity and Improve Work-Life Balance’

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Federal employees in the United Arab Emirates are moving to a 4-and-a-half day working week in order to “boost productivity.”

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The move to shorten the working week for federal employees was announced by the government today.

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It aims provide employees with a better “work-life balance.”

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The new working day will be 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through to Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m on Friday’s.

The UAE moving its weekend from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday is a major shift that puts the country in line with many other countries that have the same weekend.

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Chief strategy officer at Al Dhabi Capital, Mohammed Ali Yasin, also said: “It could be a good experiment for other countries in the region.”

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Many predominantly Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia and until now, the UAE, operate a Sunday to Thursday working week in order for Friday prayers to take place. 

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However, with the change, Friday prayers will be held after 1.15pm.

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Announcing the news, the UAE Media Office tweeted that longer weekends are “to boost productivity and improve work life balance.”

#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,” they wrote.

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It is unknown if private sector companies will follow.

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The move will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

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