UAE Moves to 4.5-Day Work Week, With a Saturday-Sunday Weekend
The United Arab Emirates will move to a four-and-a-half day work week, with a weekend beginning on Friday afternoon and running through Sunday, state media reported. The announcement touted the fact that the UAE is the first country in the world to introduce a national work week that is shorter than five days. Federal government entities and schools will adopt the new schedule beginning on January 1, 2022, according to the announcement. The government believes that the longer weekends will help boost productivity and improve work-life balance. State media also noted that the new working week will “better align” the Emirates with the “global real-time trading and communications-based transactions such as those driving global stock markets, banks and financial institutions.” State medial also reported that “The move is expected to boost not only trading opportunities but also add to the flexible, secure and enjoyable lifestyle the UAE offers to its citizens and residents.” As part of the work week changes, Friday sermons and prayers across the UAE, whose official religion is Islam, will be held beginning at 1:15 p.m.