The United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced all government entities will adopt a new work-week schedule consisting of four and a half days with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend.
The move, announced by state news agency WAM, will come into effect on January 1, 2022, making the working week more in line with Western schedules.
The UAE currently has a Friday-Saturday weekend, which corresponds with other countries in the region.
The Abu Dhabi government media office said in a statement, “The transition is in line with the UAE’s vision to enhance its global competitiveness across economic and business sectors, and to keep pace with global developments.
“The UAE is the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week.
“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,” the WAM report said.
Under the new model, employees will have to complete an eight-hour workday from Monday to Thursday but are only expected to work only for 4.
5 hours on Friday.
Government employees will also be allowed to choose flexible work or work-from-home options on Fridays.
Meanwhile, Friday sermons and prayers will be held at 1:15pm.
READ ALSO: UAE opens embassy in Israel after normalization deal
UAE announces 4.
5 day work week for government entities