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United Arab Emirates is warming up in the new Monday-Friday working week

Workers on a pedestrian bridge in Dubai on February 14, 2018.

Karim Sir Hib | AAFP | Getty Images

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — More than two months have passed since the United Arab Emirates switched to working weeks from Monday to Friday to strengthen ties with international business partners, but the country’s natives. And its vast number of expatriates are still accustomed to the change. Most people say it was a very necessary shift.

The country’s long-standing Sunday-Thursday working week was officially abolished on January 1. Civil servants now work from Monday to Thursday on the flexible half-day of Friday, which has long been a sacred day for Islamic worshipers.Previously held on Friday preaching and prayer at noon, now held after 1:15 pm

Schools reflect this change and no specific instructions have been given to the private sector, but many schools soon followed suit.

The UAE business community has been complaining about change for years, but it was thought inevitable due to globalization, but when the news suddenly came out in early December. , It caused a ripple of shock.

International collaboration

Overall, the new UAE Working Week is welcomed and the benefits are recognized, from improving the ease of doing business to improving the general lifestyle.

Regaining Sunday as part of the weekend was good news in every way for Dan Fahy, a British expatriate who manages Dubai’s executive search firm NSI Talent.

“I’m now working with all the regions I cover, and I feel like I’m doing a solid job for five days, rather than constantly checking my phone on mid-burned Sundays and Fridays. It’s great to be there, “he told CNBC.

“I feel it’s perfect for watching sports and enjoying traditional Sunday roast, as it can be completely turned off on weekends,” he added.

Dubai’s renowned Moorfields Ophthalmology Hospital (the Middle East division of the renowned London Ophthalmology Clinic) is now open 24/7 with this change.

Elhadi Hassan, Moorfields Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said: Ai Hospital Dubai in the United Arab Emirates told CNBC.

Communicating more effectively with international contacts is a major advantage seen by businesses as their schedules are more synchronized.

Laura Manning, founder and CEO of the BRW Society, an online loose-leaf tea distributor in the United Arab Emirates, told CNBC that it helped teams enjoy a better work-life balance.

“Previously, I had to jump on a Friday phone I ate on the weekend, but now I’m done with the work I need to do on Friday morning. This move is where the team works with suppliers and customers around the world. It helps to strengthen the relationship. Without losing valuable free time. “

Hiccup scheduling

But as Annie Meikle, director of Dubai’s media agency The Social Shop, told CNBC, enthusiastic acceptance of this change did not mean that companies had a lot of headaches.

“I had one or two schedule brips because I was worried about Monday instead of starting Sunday. For example, if I accidentally set up a meeting on Sunday or forgot that Friday was a working day. That’s why I laughed a little. “

“But we deal frequently with global contacts, which makes it easier to work with other markets such as the UK and North America. This is really a bonus.”

In Dubai’s economically important hospitality sector, the transition was relatively seamless, but there was the first disturbing comment online about what would happen to the legendary Friday brunch. It is offered by a large hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

To reassure many, the brunch is still on the menu — it just moved on Saturday.

“From a business perspective, the transition was relatively seamless, but it took weeks for the restaurant to adapt to Saturday’s brunch,” said Zabeel House by Jumeirah, general manager of The Greens. One Marcus Sutton said. , Told CNBC.

“Friday is also half a day for many offices, especially schools, and businesses in the early hours of Friday afternoon are on the rise, helping to bring long profits to weekend businesses,” he added. ..

“From a room perspective, given the differences between the UAE and the surrounding GCC weekends, we also found that this change would result in weekend demand in three days instead of two. [Gulf Cooperation Council] Country”

“Overall, this change is positive and highly valued within the hospitality sector,” he added.

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