DUBAI: The UAE government will transition to a four-and-a-half day working week, as it effectively moves its weekend to Saturday and Sunday.
All federal departments will start to implement the new work setup by Jan. 1, the announcement said, with working hours from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. until 12 noon every Friday.
The decision aims to boost productivity among workers, state news agency WAM has reported, as well as to improve work-life balance.
It also comes as the UAE adopts more global-oriented economic policies, including giving foreigners long-term visas announced earlier this year.
“The UAE’s pro-business focus has been cemented by the landmark weekend change, aligning the country with the majority of global business hubs,” Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank, said.
He added the move “sends a very strong signal to the global investment community and may help tip the balance in favor of stronger international investment flows in the future.”