UAE: Long-term residents recall the previous three weekend shifts

'Earlier change in weekend indeed was beneficial for the country as well as for families living in the UAE'

By SM Ayaz Zakir

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories


Published: Wed 8 Dec 2021, 2:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 2:47 PM

Emaratis and expats who have been here through the three previous change in weekends believe that it will not be such a drastic change in daily routine and only lead to betterment of living standards and the economy.

The UAE shifted its weekends on three different occasions:

- 1971-1999: Friday was the official weekend.

- 1999-2006: The UAE added Thursday to the weekend, adopting a two-day weekly holiday.

- 2006-2021: The weekend was shifted to Friday-Saturday.

Retired Brigadier Ali Al Sayed Ibrahim said that the earlier transitions had only resulted in improvement of living conditions. “It was a successful change in the past and this will surely turn out to be a successful one. Friday had been a day for weekend in both the prior changes, but now Friday is a partial working day. In Islam, it is not forbidden to work on a Friday and the government has decided the best to end the work hours one and half hour before the prayer time,” added, Ali Sayed.

Ali Sayed also highlighted that the earlier decisions helped boost business and the economy, and this new change will do the same.

Lebanese expat, Abu Youssef said the change is a great move. “The earlier change in weekend indeed was beneficial for the country as well as for families living in the UAE. And this is also a great move to bring our economy and business in line with international standards.”

Youssef who works at a senior level in a private firm in Dubai believes that the only change they will have to manage are conference timings with officials in other countries. “We have our general multinational meeting of our company on Sundays, which will have to change now. This, in fact is better and favourable for all of us,” he said.


Spanish expat Montesserat Martin, who has been in the UAE since the late 1990s said the previous changes had resulted in major improvement in her business. “The UAE government will not decide on something without before studying on a plan. The earlier moves did not have much difference in my personal life as a resting day is a resting day,” she said pointing out the human characteristic of adjusting to any change and situation. “We tend to adjust to our surroundings,” she said. “Surely, now the banking will be better and also the productivity will increase.”

More news from