Thursday 20 January 2022 - 9:52:17 pm

UAE Press: New weekend, an innovative way to design work-life balance


ABU DHABI, 8th December, 2021 (WAM) -- A UAE newspaper has commended the UAE government's announcement concerning a major change in the working week, adopting a new four and a half day working week.

In an editorial on Wednesday, Gulf News said, "States are thus the appropriate entity that regulates work days and non-work days as per the public interest. With this view, the new change is effective from Jan. 1, 2022."

"Once the prayer is over, disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah," the Quran says about the all-important Friday prayer. Friday thus has not always been a rest day. It was only during the prayer and the sermon that people would stop working. Before and after the prayer, Muslim are encouraged to work and "seek the bounty of Allah".

The working week would start on Monday and end Friday at 12:00 pm to give ample time for the preparation and performing of the Friday prayer. From Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday are the new weekend. The new working hours will be from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The new directive notes the Friday sermon and prayer across the UAE will be held from 1:15 pm. Meanwhile, government employees "will have the flexibility to make arrangements to work from home on Fridays," the directive says.

The new longer weekend is part of the UAE’s the 50th Plan to enhance work-life balance and social well-being, while at the same time increasing work output in line with the nation’s economic and competitiveness plans. The UAE has thus become the first country in the world to have such a working week that is shorter than the universal five-day week.

The new move takes into account, from an economic perspective, the necessary alignment of the local markets with the global markets, international banks and financial institutions, ports and logistic companies to enhance the UAE’s position as a world and regional hub for business and trade. Financial and trade transactions will be smoother considering that most key global hubs follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend.

"At the same time, the new weekend will offer a more flexible lifestyle for nationals and residents, more time with the family and longer rest in this increasingly faster and competitive working environment," added the daily.

"The new move is an innovative way to enhance the nation’s position in an increasingly competitive world and pave the way for the implementation of the ambitious milestones of the next 50 years," concluded the Dubai-based daily.

 

WAM/Esraa Ismail