New UAE weekend: University announces shift to 4.5-day week

Friday will be a half-day, operating remotely


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Published: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 1:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Dec 2021, 7:41 AM

The Mohammed Bin Rashid University (MBRU) of Medicine and Health Sciences has announced that it will begin operating on a Saturday-Sunday weekend mode from January 1.

The decision to adapt to the new schedule was taken after members of the MBRU family worked together to assess the impact of the new weekend shift and conducted a scenario planning exercise while considering the nature of the different programmes and operations of all departments.

Based on the exercise, MBRU will operate on a four-and-a-half-day work week, Monday through Friday, with Friday being a half-day, operating remotely.

Professor Zaid Baqain, provost, MBRU, said: “In compliance with the UAE Government’s decision pertaining to the change in weekend, we adopted the four-and-a-half-day week for both our students and staff after conducting a scenario planning exercise to assess the impact of the new weekend shift taking into consideration matters, such as the curriculum and course delivery, scheduling, clinical education, and the nature of the different programs and operations of all departments at large.

"We came up with three different scenarios and found that the four-and-a-half-day schedule works best for us, focusing particularly on ensuring that our students’ learning journey is continuously enhanced.”

He added that the longer weekend "bears no implications" because there will be no changes in the teaching and credit hours, lab requirements or classes.


"Our undergraduate students will continue to have classes on Monday through Thursday as a full-day and will move to online learning on Fridays, and students with clinical training will adhere to their programme schedule," he said.

Rasha Abbas, senior director of human resources, MBRU, said: “MBRU lauds the UAE government's progressive efforts to restructure the weekend, and we have decided to follow suit beginning January 1.

"The new work schedule enables employees to maintain a good work-life balance and helps us create a work environment in which everyone is committed to perform at their best while maintaining a healthy mind and body, allowing us to increase productivity.”

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