UAE shifts to a new two-and-a-half-day weekend
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UAE shifts to a new two-and-a-half-day weekend




The UAE government has adopted the new system of weekly work to be four and a half days of work per week. The holiday will be on Saturday and Sunday, and work on Friday will end at noon.

The UAE government has announced the new system of weekly work for the Federal government entities in the country to be four and a half working days from Monday to Thursday and a half working day on Friday. The weekly holiday will be on Saturday and Sunday. The changes will be effective as of 1st January 2022 across all government entities, and Sunday, 2nd January 2022, will be an official holiday.

The move applies to Federal government entities and comes alongside new working hours, with Monday to Thursday workdays now start at 7:30 am and end at 3:30 pm, and Friday working hours from 7:30 am – 12:00 pm. The working hours in public schools in the country will be announced later.

The new system will include the possibility of applying flexible working hours and the remote work system on Friday in the federal authorities, provided that the federal authorities approve the implementation mechanisms, as required by the interest of the workflow in these authorities.

Alongside the move, Friday sermons and prayers across the UAE will be held from 1:15 pm.

The integration of the national economy with various global economies and markets.

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 contribute to strengthening the integration of the national economy with various global economies and markets, and enhance its essential and effective strategic position in the global economy, especially that the new weekly work system follows the same working days of exchanges and commercial, economic and financial dealings with countries that adopt the weekly holiday on Saturdays and Sundays.

Adopting the new system of working days and weekly holidays will support the financial sector, as it will harmonize with working days in international stock exchanges and financial markets and multinational banks. Thus the new system will enhance the performance of the stock markets, banks, insurance companies, and foreign trade of the UAE.

Improving performance and productivity in government work.

The new system of weekly work in the UAE is expected to support improving performance and productivity in government work, enhancing the country’s competitiveness and consolidating its position among the most attractive countries for work and life in the world. The new system will also establish the flexibility of government work and its ability to quickly adapt to changes and developments worldwide. It will enhance performance and productivity levels and improve the quality of life in the work environment.

Strengthening family bonds and achieving a balance between personal and work life.


The new system of working days and the weekend in the UAE will contribute to enhancing family connection and societal connection, and improving the quality of life for employees, especially with the extension of the weekend to two and a half days. That will work to achieve a balance between personal life and work requirements, and enhance the interdependence between employees and their families and allow them the opportunity to enjoy a long weekend (from noon on Friday until Sunday evening), which will reflect positively on family relations, and contribute to raising productivity and performance at work.

The Federal Authority for Governmental Human Resources had submitted a proposal for the new system of weekly work. It included it with standard studies at the level of countries in the region and a comprehensive feasibility study to monitor the expected results in terms of raising labour productivity in the government sector, stimulating the economic movement in the country by increasing local consumption as well as strengthening the bonds of relations family and community.