(MENAFN- Bangladesh Monitor)
Dhaka: The United Arab Emirates is switching its weekend to Saturday and Sunday, moving out of the line from the rest of the Gulf region as the country eyes to draw in global investment and business.
The nation will implement the change from January 1, 2022, adopting a 4.5-day working week, with Friday – a holy day in Islam – being a half day, the federal government said in a statement.
According to reports, the UAE and the rest of the Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia, currently have a Sunday-to-Thursday working week.
The change marks a further step in efforts by the UAE, to maintain its status as the Gulf's pre-eminent business hub.
The move comes as regional competition from neighbouring Saudi Arabia is rising. The oil-producing heavyweight is engaging in a drive to attract overseas investment and diversify its economy.
“This will align the UAE with global markets and make it easier for international corporations to do business,” said Nabil Alyousuf, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai-based International Advisory Group.
“It will increase the number of days we do business with the rest of the world, which will boost trade,” he added.
“The private sector will have flexibility to decide the weekend,” Abdulrahman Al Awar, Director General of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, said, according to reports.
The country's labor law allocates a maximum of 48 hours per working week and a minimum of one day off per week, he mentioned.
The announcement comes during a year in which the UAE has spent more than USD 6 billion to help push 75,000 citizens into private-sector employment. Like other Gulf countries, the UAE has a large proportion of citizens working in state jobs that offer better pay and shorter hours.
Other countries across the region may follow UAE's footsteps. In 2006, when the UAE became the first in the Gulf to move its weekend from Thursday and Friday to Friday and Saturday, it was followed by Saudi Arabia in 2013 and then much of the Gulf.
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