The UAE is slashing its official working week to four-and-a-half days and moving its weekend to Saturday and Sunday in a major shift aimed at improving competitiveness. Under the new timetable, to be implemented from January 1, 2022, the public-sector weekend starts at noon on Fridays and ends on Sunday. Friday prayers at mosques will be held after 1:15 pm all year round. While becoming the only Gulf country not to have a Friday-Saturday weekend, the resource-rich UAE is now the first country in the world to roll out 4.5-day workweek.
From New Zealand to Japan, the idea has been steadily gaining ground globally, hailed by its proponents as a means to increase productivity, improve work-life balance and mental health of workers.