New UAE workweek: Sharjah private company announces 3-day weekend

The new schedule and timings are effective from January 1, 2022

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 6:39 PM

Even as many private sector employees await clarity from firms on the new UAE workweek structure, a Sharjah-based firm announced 3-day weekends to employees starting next year.

Inspired by the UAE government’s announcement of the 4.5-day workweek, Rouya Consultancy will adopt a 4-day workweek starting from 9am to 7pm, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.

The private firm's decision echoes broader Sharjah's adoption of the 3-day weekend, announced on Thursday, to be implemented across government entities.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, AbdulRahman Salem, Director of Rouya Consultancy, said, “as the company’s founders, we decided to use the flexibility that the new UAE labor law provides for private entities to determine employee off days.”

On Tuesday, the UAE’s Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation Dr. Abdulrahman Awar urged private firms to make use of the UAE’s new workweek to make their own adjustments that serve business interests and activities.

Salem said longer weekends will enhance employee performance and boost wellbeing. The decision was driven by the positive results that countries like Iceland and Japan have reported of the four-day workweek trials in improving health and work-life balance.


“As a Public Relations and Communication Consultancy, we find ourselves finishing some work, completing household errands, shopping, studying for our kids on weekends, which barely gives us time to rest.”

The 3-day weekend, Salem stressed, will allow employees to finish their errands in one day, while getting two days off to spend time with their families, practice their own hobbies, enroll in training courses, pursue higher education or start their own side business.

“The UAE is consistently encouraging employees to start their businesses for the pivotal role of start-ups in driving the national economy. As a start-up, we equally encourage our employees to start their own businesses because this is the future for the UAE and the broader region.”

He noted that giving Fridays off will enable parents attend to their own needs when their children are at school for half day.

Private companies across the country have been announcing a switch to the Saturday-Sunday weekend in line with the UAE’s new workweek that will apply across government entities starting from January 2022. Consultants and employees are expecting private firms to opt for the weekend shift, although it remains unclear if the mid-Friday holiday will be adopted.

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