United Arab Emirates Switches Weekend to Saturday-Sunday, Adopts 4 ½ Day Week

The United Arab Emirates(UAE) has shifted its weekend to Saturday and Sunday for government employees, the public sector, and private schools. This weekend shift will go into effect on January 1st. The current UAE workweek is Sunday through Thursday which has put them at a disadvantage in the global market. The weekend shift was done with direct intentions and, “will increase the number of days we do business with the rest of the world, which will boost trade” says Nabil Alyousuf, chief executive officer of a Dubai-based International Advisory group.

This new weekend gives private companies the flexibility to choose their weekend. The only contingency is that they must follow the countries labor laws. The UAE’s labor laws allow employees to work a maximum of 48 hours per week with one guaranteed day off per week. There is no doubt that the latest weekend change will make the UAE more appealing as a global hub for business, however, there are concerns regarding the freedom of these private sectors. Traders will also face new difficulties working with other countries in the region that haven’t adopted a Saturday and Sunday weekend.

This article interested me due to the constant discussion and recent legislation of adopting a four-day workweek in the U.S. I feel that a four-day workweek would increase people’s mental health and improve the quality of their work. This could greatly impact the media/entertainment industry. With less stressed-out media employees the amount of quality content could increase which I think is necessary. Leaders of media companies should always be thinking of ways to increase their employee’s mental health and the quality of their work. As a leader, it’s not enough to say you care about your employees. To me, a strong leader shows he cares through his actions as well as his words.





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