Abu Dhabi and London (CNN) – United Arab Emirates And Dubai, its international financial hub, will shift their work week to four-and-a-half days ending at noon on Friday to facilitate global business.
The change from the current schedule for the first time in the Gulf country from Sunday to Thursday will help the United Arab Emirates ‘business continuity and align with the global economies and the bank,’ the government said in a statement. The change will take effect on January 1 and will apply to government employees and schools.
The United Arab Emirates, which has a Muslim-majority population, said work to allow people to attend prayers would end Friday at 12 noon local time (Miami time 3 p.m.). Friday is considered the holiest day of the week for Muslims. Beginning in January, prayers will begin at 1:15 pm local time, an hour later than today.
The government has announced that public sector employees will be given the ability to work flexibly, including from home, on Friday.
Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Director of Human Resources in the United Arab Emirates, said that as long as employees have at least one day off, private companies can choose the weekends that are best for their business.
“So every company decides based on the sector in which it operates, its customers and the operations it manages,” he told CNN.
Other Muslim-majority Muslim countries, such as Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco and Malaysia, adopted the schedule from Monday to Friday.
While this change will soften trade relations around the world, the UAE will no longer be in sync with its neighbors such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
Government of Dubai Advertising He will change his work week in line with Emirati level policy.
This is not the first time the UAE has changed its working week. Between 1999 and 2006, the country had a Thursday-Friday weekend, which changed to Friday-Saturday.
– Carolyn Faraj from Dubai and Celine Alcalti from Abu Dhabi.