New UAE weekend: Private sector employees await clarity from firms

New policy would boost the tourism industry and spur economic growth


Ashwani Kumar

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 10:19 AM

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 2:41 PM

Private sector companies are doing internal studies and making plans to incorporate the revolutionary new weekend structure while employees look up to their employers with great hope.

Ibrahim Elsayed, an executive at a private company, said most employees at his firm are eagerly awaiting clarity from the HR department.

“The new weekend change is not mandatory for the private sector. But if my company obliges, my colleagues and I will be thrilled to no end. As compensation, even if we have to work extra every day, a two-and-a-half-day break as a reward would be great. An employee will be able to spend more time with family and friends. I am eagerly awaiting the moment when an email pops up in my mailbox from HR informing us about the change.”

Tim Cordon, area senior vice-president, Middle East, and Africa at Radisson Hotel Group, noted the group’s management would soon decide on their work-week policy.

“We are excited about this step, and we are already developing versatile plans to implement this change soon.”

Cordon underlined that the new policy would boost the tourism industry and spur economic growth.


“Being in a truly progressive country like the UAE, we feel fortunate to be a part of its continuous headway to adapt to the global market. As a result of these positive developments and the aligned weekend dates, we expect an influx of tourists and an increased length of stay for the domestic market. We anticipate that this transition will contribute to an increase in productivity for the UAE as a nation, translating into further economic growth.”

Ahmad Shafik Abu Nijem, head of marketing and sales, Hitachi Energy in UAE, is unsure how his company will include the new policy.

“Friday will be a normal working day now, and some private companies may be working on Saturday or Sunday, which will ensure that the country is available for business 24X7. We are proud of such inspired vision from the leaders of this country and are proud to be residents.”

Meanwhile, Shabeel Ummer, a senior executive, listed numerous reasons and benefits on why private sector firms must embrace the new weekend transition.

“This will attract, retain and motivate more employees as this will result in enhancing work-life balance and increase productivity. Recruiting, retaining, and motivating talent has been a task for employers, particularly in today’s economic situation post the pandemic. I hope that my company will soon decide on taking the new pathway of work-life balance.”

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