uae working time changes: Will the UAE holiday change affect school hours and the private sector; Everything you need to know

DUBAI: People have welcomed the government’s move to declare working hours for government employees in the UAE until noon on Friday and Saturday and Sunday for holidays. The general assessment is that the change in the holidays is a decision that could lead to a fundamental change in the employment and family life of the people of the country by making a fundamental change in the holidays.

The country with the shortest working hours in the world

With the change in the new working day, the UAE has become the country with the shortest working hours in the world. The current working day of the week has been reduced to four and a half days as the current holiday on Friday has been shifted to Saturday and the holiday has been extended to Friday afternoon. The minimum working day is five days anywhere in the world. Office hours are Friday from 7.30 am to 12 noon. There will be two and a half days off from noon. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Holiday change after 15 years


This is not the first time the UAE has changed its working days. The last time government employees’ holidays were changed was 15 years ago. Friday was the official holiday of the country from 2071 to 1999. But in 1999, the government decided to make Thursday a public holiday along with Friday. This was changed again in 2006. According to this, Thursday was changed to a holiday and Saturday was made a holiday. This is currently the practice in the UAE. But the new decision to declare Friday from noon to Saturday and Sunday as a holiday will start from January 1 next year.

You can change the way you work on Fridays

Offices are officially open until 12 noon, but companies can make changes at will. Employee service can be redefined to work-from-home mode in the morning and afternoon. The government has given institutions the freedom to make such changes according to the convenience and specificity of each institution. Accordingly, companies can make it a requirement for employees to work from home on Friday afternoons, if necessary. The government has given such freedom because of the fact that it is sometimes necessary for companies doing business internationally.

Will the holidays change in the private sector as well?

It is reported that this will be reflected in the private sector in the country in the light of the change in the working hours of government offices. In 2016, when the holiday was shifted from Thursday to Saturday, the private sector companies were ready to follow suit. It is estimated that a similar approach will be adopted this time as well. A press release issued by the UAE government media in this regard does not say anything about the change of time in the private sector. However, the UAE Minister for Human Resource Development said that the benefits of the new changes should be made available to private sector employees as well. Abdul Rahman Abdul Mannan Al Anwar called for. He added that this will help improve the working conditions and warm the family life of the employees.

School and college hours will vary accordingly

As the working hours of government employees change, so will the schools and colleges in the country. An announcement in this regard will be issued by the concerned Ministries soon. Private schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will also be embracing these changes in the new year. Educational institutions will change to the new style from January 3, the first Monday of the new year. Suggestions and notifications will be made available to parents soon, officials said.

Friday prayers from 1.15 pm


The Friday prayer time has been fixed at 1.15 pm for the convenience of the believers in the new situation. The aim is to make it easier for those working in various institutions to attend Friday prayers. The UAE government has issued a directive to all mosque imams in this regard. At present, Friday prayers start a few minutes after the noon bank call. The time of prayer will also change according to the time of the bank. But in the new situation, the authorities have fixed the prayer time at 1.15, irrespective of the bank’s time. This is to allow time for staff to leave the office at 12 noon and make the necessary preparations to arrive at the church.



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