New UAE workweek begins: 10 timing changes to note, 2.5-day weekend explained

UAE wakes up to a shorter workweek


Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2021, 2:56 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Jan 2022, 9:22 AM

The UAE will wake up in New Year 2022 with a shorter workweek. From January 1, 2022, Friday half-day, Saturday and Sunday would form the new weekend in the country, aligning it with global markets. Sharjah has adopted a four-day week, offering workers Friday full-day off in addition to Saturday and Sunday.

Here is a list of all the changes in timings:

1. Friday sermon, prayers

Mosques across the country will host Friday sermon and prayer after 1.15pm. Thanks to this, residents can finish their work by 12 noon and head to the mosque for the congregational prayer.


2. Schools

Public and private schools across the country will follow the new workweek. This means that schools will remain open on Fridays till 12pm. Saturday and Sunday will form the new weekend at schools.

In Sharjah, schools will remain closed for three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

To make up for the loss of academic days, schools can increase daily timings.

3. Banks

Sunday will be the new holiday for branches, four banks have confirmed. As per directives issued by the UAE Central Bank, bank branches have to remain open six days a week, including Fridays.

4. Paid parking in Dubai

Paid parking zones in the Emirate will continue to remain free on Fridays from the new year. This means that public parking remains a paid service on Saturdays and Sundays.

5. Dubai Metro, Tram

Red and Green Lines of the Dubai Metro shall be in operation from Monday to Thursday from 5am to 1.15am. On Friday and Saturday, the Metro lines shall operate from 5am to 2.15am. On Sunday, the metro will be in service from 8am to 1.15am.

For Dubai Tram, service hours Monday to Saturday will be from 6am to 1am. On Sunday, the tram will be in service from 9am to 1am.

6. Banned hours for trucks in Abu Dhabi

Peak hours are applicable Monday to Friday: 6.30am to 9am; and 3pm to 6pm in Abu Dhabi city; and 6.30am to 8.30am; and 2pm to 4pm in Al Ain.

7. Floating Bridge closure timings

From February 2, 2022, the new closure times of the Floating Bridge shall be from 10pm on Saturday up to 6am on Monday.

8. Vehicle testing

Dubai’s service centres (technical testing) will observe a full working week from Sunday to Thursday. On Friday, they will operate from 4pm to 9pm. Saturday will be a holiday.

9. Government sector

Employees of federal and local government of all Emirates, except Sharjah, will move to a four-and-a-half-day workweek. Employees of Sharjah Government will enjoy three days off every week.

10. Private sector

Private firms are not legally obliged to make the shift, but have been urged to readjust employee weekly days off to align with the new weekend.

Multiple companies have already announced a switch to the new weekend, with flexible timings announced for Fridays.

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