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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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UAE to shift weekend to Saturday and Sunday from January 2022

UAE to shift weekend to Saturday and Sunday from January 2022

The United Arab Emirates announced on Tuesday that it will switch to a four-and-a-half-day work week with a Saturday-Sunday weekend beginning next year to better align its economy with global markets.

The oil-producing Gulf state and a regional commercial, trade, and tourism hub currently have a weekend from Friday to Saturday. The weekend would begin on Friday afternoon on January 1, 2022.

Amid an escalating economic rivalry with neighboring Saudi Arabia, the UAE has taken steps in the last year to make its economy more appealing to foreign investment and talent.

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The government said in a statement that the working week for government entities would begin on Monday and end on Friday at noon, before Muslim prayers, and that this would improve employees’ work-life balance.

According to the government, the move will “ensure smooth financial, trade, and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international cooperation.”

Thousands of UAE-based and multinational companies will benefit from new business connections and opportunities.”

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According to Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief strategy officer at Al Dhabi Capital, the financial sector will also benefit. Due to the ability to make simultaneous payment settlements with developed markets, as will the tourism industry.

“It could be an interesting experiment for other countries in the region,” he said.

Friday is a weekly holiday in many Muslim-majority countries.

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Monica Malik, an economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, predicted that many private sector companies in the UAE would follow the Saturday-Sunday weekend. The move termed “very meaningful development” in addition to other recent reforms.

To attract and retain talent and encourage more businesses to invest, the UAE has liberalized laws governing cohabitation before marriage, alcohol, and personal status, as well as introducing longer-term visas.

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