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UAE Announces World’s Shortest Working Week

The United Arab Emirates has announced that it is realigning its working week to match Western nations.

The move, which was announced by state news agency WAM on Tuesday, will come into effect next year (January 1st 2022) and is aimed at “enhancing global competitiveness across business and economic sectors.”

The current working week in the UAE runs from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday & Saturday seen as the weekend.  However, as part of the new working week, the UAE will not only adopt a standard Monday to Friday week, but also become the first country in the world to adopt a shorter working week as well.

Under the new changes, Friday’s will be cut to just 4.5 hours of work, giving a total working week of 4.5 days.

Traditionally Friday is seen in many Muslim countries Friday is seen as the holiest day, so the change will help the country to remain intentionally competitive while still adhering to the demands of its dominant religious majority.

Commenting on the change, Faisal Durrani, Partner – Head of Middle East Research, Knight Frank, said: “The UAE’s pro-business focus has been cemented by the landmark weekend change, aligning the country with the majority of global business hubs, by declaring ‘we are open for business.

“From an investment perspective, the UAE and wider region, has been slow to attract institutional capital in a meaningful way, largely due to lack of assets of quantum and lengthy international due-diligence. The weekend change sends a very strong signal to the global investment community and may well help tip the balance in favour of stronger international investment flows in the future.”

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