By Spy Uganda Correspondent
The United Arab Emirates will move its weekend to Saturday and Sunday starting January 2022, the UAE media office said in a tweet on Tuesday.
The shift is significant, given Friday has long been a sacred day for worshippers of Islam. Most countries in the Gulf have Friday to Saturday weekends.
The country will have a four-½-day working week, with the weekend starting on Friday afternoon and lasting until Sunday.
According to the tweet by the government’s media office, the long weekend is meant to “boost productivity and improve work-life balance.”
The changes will kick in from Jan. 1, 2022, and will apply to federal government entities.
Friday working hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., the government media office said. Working hours from Monday to Thursday will start at 7.30am and end at 3.30pm.
“Adopting an agile working system will enable the UAE to rapidly respond to emerging changes and enhance wellbeing in the workplace,” state media said in a report.
“From an economic perspective, the new working week will better align the UAE with global markets, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map,” and is designed to smooth trade, financial and economic transactions with other countries, it added.
The country will also be hoping the move boosts “not only trading opportunities but also add to the flexible, secure and enjoyable lifestyle the UAE offers to its citizens and residents,” according to state media.