West News Wire: Officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stated on Tuesday that the country’s working week will be reduced to four and a half days, and the weekend will be moved from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday

In order to increase the country’s economic competitiveness, the administration announced it will “raise productivity and promote work-life balance.”

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.

The changes mean the UAE will become the only Gulf state not to have a Friday-Saturday weekend, which is the case in other Muslim-majority countries so that Friday prayers can be observed.

As a result of the changes, the UAE will become the only Gulf state without a Friday-Saturday weekend, which is common in other Muslim-majority nations to allow for Friday prayers.

Friday prayers at mosques will be performed after 1.15pm all year under the new schedule.

“Smooth financial, commercial, and economic transactions with nations that follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend will be ensured,” the government stated, “facilitating deeper international business relations and prospects for thousands of UAE-based and global enterprises.”

Employee productivity stayed the same or improved in Iceland during a trial of a four-day work week undertaken between 2015 and 2019.

Employee happiness and productivity were both increased in trials in Japan and New Zealand.

Pilot four-day work week initiatives have been launched in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden.

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