New UAE workweek: Residents start planning for longer weekends

Employees are looking forward to enjoying their downtime by pursuing new hobbies and expanding their knowledge

By Sherouk Zakaria

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Dareen Al Sarraj with her family
Dareen Al Sarraj with her family

Published: Fri 10 Dec 2021, 11:59 AM

Employees across the UAE are already making plans to better invest their time during the longer weekends.

On Tuesday, the UAE made the groundbreaking announcement of adopting a 4.5-day workweek in the government sector starting from January 1, 2022, with aims to enhance well-being and boost work productivity.

In a first-of-its-kind move, Sharjah announced a 4-day workweek, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.

Hailing the new decisions, employees across the UAE are gearing up to welcome the new year with resolutions to thrive professionally and personally.

Abdulaleem Harees, Sharjah’s Department of Culture

The 4-day workweek is a first of its kind in the world, reflecting the emirate’s futuristic vision centred on social well-being and cohesion as imperative for the development of societies.

The longer weekend will give me a chance to read more, dedicate time for my creative writing projects and expand my knowledge.

Dr Shagufta Zubair, Dubai Municipality

I will invest my time in pursuing my interests like studying data analysis and getting into fitness. The long weekend will also give me the opportunity to spend quality time with my son and family.

Kural Zholaman, Mediclinic Middle East

If the private sector adopts the new working week system, it would free up some time for me to spend with my family. I would take my children to the swimming pool where I train, plan short travel trips and have playdates. It would also allow me to socialise, expand my network and pursue my hobbies in sports.

Dareen Al Sarraj, Sharjah-based Rouya Consultancy

As a mother of three, I barely get time for myself. I was grateful when my employer announced a 3-day weekend, which will allow me to pursue my hobbies again.

I will practice yoga, biking and hiking. I will also be able to organise my time better in socialising with my friends and bonding with my family, while working on my own professional development through training courses.

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