The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is cutting its working week to four-and-half days and moving its weekend from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday, officials announced on Tuesday.
The government said it would “boost productivity and improve work-life balance” as the country aims to improve its economic competitiveness.
Trials in Japan and New Zealand also showed employee wellbeing improved as well as productivity.
Ireland, Scotland, Spain and Sweden have announced pilot four-day workweek schemes.
UAE cuts working week
From January 1, 2022, the weekend will start at 12 pm local time on Friday and run until Sunday night. The current weekend runs from Thursday night to Saturday night.
The new working day will be 7.30 am to 3.30 pm Monday to Thursday, and 7.30 am to 12 pm Friday.
Friday prayers to accommodate Dubai business ambition
Under the new timetable, Friday prayers at mosques will be held after 1.15 pm all year round.
The government said it would “ensure smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international business links and opportunities for thousands of UAE-based and multinational companies”.