UAE announces 4.5-day workweek

The government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to implement a new four-and-a-half-day work week on January 1, 2022.

Key facts

  • United Arab Emirates has become the first country in the world to implement a national work week which is shorter than five-day week across the world.
  • The new work week will be implemented as part of government’s efforts to enhance social wellbeing and boost work-life balance.
  • This change will affect federal government institutions.
  • It will be accompanied by new working hours as states below:
  1. Monday to Thursday will be workdays, starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m.
  2. Friday work hours will start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 12:00 pm.
  • Apart from this change, Friday sermons and prayers will start at 1:15 pm across the UAE.

Work from home

Government employees will be given the option to work from home on Fridays and schedule their work hours on a flexi-time basis.

Significance of the move

  • With the implementation of new work week, longer weekend is part of government’s attempts to improve work-life balance and social well-being.
  • It will also help in improving performance in a bid to promote economic competitiveness of UAE.
  • It will help in connecting the UAE with global markets from an economic point of view. It reflects UAE’s strategic position on global economic map.
  • New change will facilitate greater international business relations as well as possibilities for thousands of UAE-based & global enterprises by ensuring easy commercial, economic and financial activities with the countries following Saturday-Sunday weekend.

Country with similar law

Apart from UAE, France is notable for having a 35-hour work week, that is four days and three hours. This law has been codified since 2000.


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