UAE denies social media rumour of changing official weekend

Fake news circulating about weekend switch from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday

KT file photo
KT file photo

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 6 May 2021, 2:28 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Dec 2021, 6:35 PM

[Editor's Note: This story was published in May 2021, when the official weekend was still Friday and Saturday. Readers are urged to avoid sharing misleading screenshots of this article, in light of new developments regarding the official weekend in the UAE, announced on December 7, 2021. Khaleej Times has issued a clarification with regard to the same. Additionally, you can read KT's full coverage about the new announcement here.]

UAE authorities have denied rumours that have been circulating on social media that there will be a switch in the country's official weekend, stressing that the information is false.

The fake news that has been circulating on social media in the country that "the UAE was considering switching the weekend from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday", was attributed to state news agency-WAM. But the agency has denied reporting such news.

“The news that has been spreading on social media that government was planning to make some changes in the weekend is fake. WAM has never reported any such information,” Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, Executive Director of Emirates New Agency (WAM) told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

“No such news has been issued by government through WAM and people should stop circulating such false information as it is misleading residents.”

In September 2006, the UAE had switched its official Thursday and Friday weekend to Friday and Saturday to help business relations by increasing shared office hours with Western countries and to provide a more familiar structure for international visitors.

Spreading fake news is crime in UAE

UAE authorities have always warned residents against spreading fake information and rumours stressing that is was a major crime punishable by the country’s law.

“Whoever deliberately spreads false news, fake information or rumours, or circulates provocative propaganda that would disturb public security or cause alarm among people, or harm the public interest, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of not less than a year, in accordance with Article 198 of the Federal Penal Code,” said the UAE Public Prosecution.

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