Eid break in UAE: Will all companies switch off entirely for 9 days?

People working in education sector, as chartered accountants, legal professionals, bankers, and other similar services will enjoy the long holiday


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 8 Apr 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 8 Apr 2024, 10:56 PM

While some UAE companies will stop operations entirely, the majority will maintain some level of activity throughout the 9-day long Eid Al Fitr break.

Some employees will work remotely, while other firms will allow staff to work from home during the holidays. Even if they're officially off during the long break, some employers encourage staff to check emails and respond to ensure a smooth workflow and prevent an excessive workload when work resumes after the holidays.

All public and private sector entities will be closed from Monday, April 8, till Friday, April 12. Employees will get a nine-day break when the four weekends are factored in.

The human resources industry said professionals working as chartered accountants, education professionals, legal professionals, bankers, and other similar services sectors will enjoy the long break.

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Nicki Wilson, founder and managing director of HR and recruitment consultancy Genie, said there would be businesses not in operation during the Eid Al Fitr break, namely head offices in sectors such as agencies, schools, some service providers, corporate offices, banks, non-essential services and of course government entities.

Wilson added that many businesses in the run-up to Eid Al Fitr would also postpone payments, interviews, meetings, and business deals.

Vasant Lad, managing partner at BLS Lad Chartered Accountants, said there would be a minimal impact as they would be completing the final stage of some ongoing audit engagements.

“Our employees were in regular contact with their clients, ensuring that active engagements were well-managed before the holidays began. We prioritise the wellbeing of our staff and understand the importance of allowing them time off during the holidays,” he said.

“Additionally, we have a flexible leave policy to accommodate unforeseen circumstances that may require employees to take time off. This approach promotes a healthy work-life balance,” added Lad.

Not all businesses shut down

However, some companies will be operating at a much lower capacity due to the nature of their business. Firms operating in retail, F&B, facilities management, hospitality, etc., will be splitting their staff to enjoy some time off, and others will be called in to continue running operations. Those asked to work are usually compensated per the local labour laws.

Nicki Wilson said hospitality, tourism, and essential services will remain in operation, but their head offices will have reduced working in place.

Deepa Sud, CEO of Plum Jobs, said no business can have a complete shutdown during a lengthy break.

“Businesses will be focusing on safeguarding sales, revenue, and customer delivery by making provisions to establish working schedules and remote work to support their customers. Many businesses will be able to operate efficiently as remote working was established during the Covid-19 pandemic,” she added.

Amidst festivities and celebrations surrounding Eid, some businesses are balancing the joy of the occasion with the responsibility of caring for their workers, said Saboor Ahmed, CEO of ServHub, a facilities management company.

“Eid is not only a time for festivities but also one of the busiest periods for us as we ensure the wellbeing of all our workers in our labour camps during their holidays. Despite the increased cost, we are proud to partake in the celebrations with numerous families. Downtime is essential for any organisation. This festive period provides us with the opportunity to rejuvenate, plan, and chart our path forward with a festive fervour. We don't view it as a cost, but rather as an investment towards a more productive future with concrete steps,” added Ahmed.

Challenging time post-Eid

Nicki Wilson added that the next couple of weeks post-Eid would be very difficult for many businesses as less cash flow will be moving, fewer bills will be paid, etc., which, of course, has an economic effect. During a slight downturn in the market, this can be harsh on many businesses trying to keep afloat. Also, there have been redundancies in certain sectors and many job seekers will now have to wait realistically over two weeks before anything happens for them,” she added.


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