New UAE weekend: 6 reasons why workweek has been shortened

Country to transition to four-and-a-half-day workweek in 2022


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 8 Dec 2021, 11:06 AM

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 2:42 PM

The UAE has granted its residents the perfect New Year gift. Come January 1, 2022, the country would transition into a four-and-a-half-day workweek, with Saturday, Sunday and Friday half-day forming the new weekend.


Here is why the country revised its workweek:

  • Better work-life balance: Shorter workweeks mean enhanced social wellbeing. It will boost family ties and offer the best quality of life. Longer weekends would help employees plan short trips, as is the case when official holidays are announced.
  • Expand skillsets: Employees may take part in training courses or pursue education programmes or even work on their own projects.
  • Boost to economy: From an economic perspective, the new workweek will better align the Emirates with global markets. UAE's financial sector will be in synch with global real-time trading and communications-based transactions such as those driving global stock markets, banks and financial institutions. The move is expected to boost trading opportunities.
  • Private sector to benefit: According to Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the new system would enable continuity of external transactions for private sector companies and entities, "hence safeguarding investors' and business owners' interests".

"This will reflect positively on the workers in various business sectors and lead to increased productivity," he added.

  • Boost to tourism: The majority of the countries around the world have a Saturday-Sunday weekend system. With the UAE adopting the system, it will help tourists plan short breaks.
  • Increased productivity: It will enhance government performance as shorter workweeks translate into better productivity, as global studies have shown.

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