In major change, UAE workweek to be Monday through Friday

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The United Arab Emirates says it is changing its official work week from Monday to Friday, a change that will begin next month

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that its official work week will last from Monday to Friday, a major change that brings the Islamic nation which is home to major financial institutions in line with Western schedules.

The decision, which is to take effect next month, makes the Gulf Arab state, home of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, one of the few places in the Middle East to operate at western hours on Sundays instead of the Thursday working week.

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Government employees will work for half a day on Friday, the traditional Muslim holy day, and then take Saturday and Sunday off, the announcement said.

The government change will likely see private industry and schools follow suit, as they did in 2006, when the week changed from Saturday to Wednesday – an Islamic workweek followed in some Muslim countries such as Iran and Afghanistan. Was.

The Emirati government praised the decision to make it “the world’s first nation to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week” – a reference to Friday becoming only a half-day workday.

“The extended weekend comes as part of the UAE’s government efforts to promote work-life balance and enhance social well-being,” the statement said.

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