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UAE moves to 4.5-day week, with Saturday-Sunday weekend

The UAE announced plans to move to a Saturday-Sunday weekend, making Fridays half-days to allow staff to attend prayers. 

The UAE today announced plans to move to a Saturday-Sunday weekend, making Fridays half-days to allow staff to attend prayers. The decision, which impacts public sector employees but may ripple down into the private sector, comes into effect on 1 January 2022, the statement said. As a result, Sunday 2 January will be a weekend, the statement explained. Currently weekends are Fridays and Saturdays.

"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 also boost work-life balance and enhance social wellbeing, while increasing performance to advance the UAE's economic competitiveness," WAM reported.

When this comes into force, public sector employees will be expected to work 4.5 days a week, including a half day on Fridays, making it the shortest working week in the world.

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