Abu Dhabi, 7 December 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) official weekend is going to change to Saturday and Sunday, the country says, a decision aimed at facilitating business links with Western countries.
Since 2006, the official weekend in the UAE has been Friday and Saturday, like most Middle Eastern, Muslim-dominated countries.
The new Monday-to-Friday work week will go into effect next month. Government entities will also adopt a four-and-a-half day working week, with a four-hour work schedule on Friday.
The official WAM news agency reported on Tuesday that the UAE is the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week.
The new decisions aim at boosting work-life balance and enhancing social well-being as well as advancing the country’s economic competitiveness.
It “will better align the UAE with global markets, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map,” according to WAM.
It will also ensure smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with Western countries and facilitate stronger business links for UAE-based and multinational companies.
The move aims at solidifying the Gulf country’s status as a regional business and tourism hub.
It comes at a time when the UAE‘s larger neighbour, Saudi Arabia, is also working to attract international companies to set up regional headquarters in Riyadh, as part of the kingdom’s plan to diversify its oil-reliant economy and open the country for tourism and investments.