Last working Sunday for federal government entities in UAE
Agencies | Dubai
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Today is the last working Sunday for federal government entities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the country switches from the Sunday-Thursday working week to the Monday-Friday on January 1.
Under the new system, Monday to Thursday workdays will start at 7:30 am and end at 3:30 pm, while Friday working hours will be from 7:30 am until noon.
Government staff will have the flexibility to make arrangements to work from home on Fridays, as well as to arrange their working hours on a flexi-time basis.
Friday sermons and prayers across the UAE will be held from 1:15 pm, the announcement made on December 7 said.
The UAE is the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week, UAE news agency WAM reported.
The extended weekend comes as part of the UAE government’s efforts to boost work-life balance and enhance social wellbeing while increasing performance to advance the UAE’s economic competitiveness.
Adopting an agile working system will enable the UAE to rapidly respond to emerging changes and enhance wellbeing in the workplace.
From an economic perspective, the new working week will better align the UAE with global markets, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map. It will ensure smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday/Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international business links and opportunities for thousands of UAE-based and multinational companies.
The new working week will also bring the UAE’s financial sector into closer alignment 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 not only trading opportunities but also add to the flexible, secure and enjoyable lifestyle the UAE offers to its citizens and residents.
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources proposed the new workweek following comprehensive benchmarking and feasibility studies reflecting potential impacts of the move on the economy, social and family ties and the overall wellbeing of people in the UAE.
Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation Abdulrahman Al Awar was quoted in a local daily as saying that private sector employers would not be told to fall in line with the new working week.
"Private sector companies are smart and they have been operating in a very competitive market,” he said.
“They will make their decision based on what they feel will improve their position.”