- Two and a half day week off begins in UAE
- Holiday from half day of Friday to Sunday
- but still not happy people
The two-and-a-half-day weekend has begun in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). People are now getting two and a half days weekly off instead of two. But instead of being happy with it, people are looking angry. People say that it was more correct to get off on Friday, but now on Friday, you have to work for half a day. Earlier in UAE, there used to be a weekend on Friday and Saturday but now it has started from half day of Friday till Saturday and Sunday.
Those living in UAE have a habit of Friday holiday. On this day, there has always been a holiday for weekly Namaz, but now Friday is getting only half a day off, so people are unhappy.
22-year-old Briton Rachel King, who works in the hospitality industry and has been living in Dubai for six months, said, “I would love to take a break on Friday.” We have always known that Friday is a holiday and we like it. We go for walks and do a lot of things. But now the holiday is on Saturday.
The UAE has adopted a western-style weekend amid increasing competition from the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia. The government had announced this in December last year and said that this decision has been taken keeping in mind the productivity of the people and work life balance.
Government offices and schools are now functioning only for four and a half days. There is only half day work till 12 o’clock on Friday and after that the weekend is starting. The timing of Friday afternoon prayers has been changed across the country after 1.15 pm.
Human resource consultancy, Mercer has conducted a survey which revealed that only 23 per cent of 195 businesses are preparing to observe a four-and-a-half day week. More than half the companies are working under Saturday-Sunday holiday.
Fati, who works in an international distribution company, urged not to give her full name, saying, “Luckily, my kids and I have the same week off, but my husband doesn’t have a holiday on these days.” He works for a multinational company which has not changed its week off at the moment. I hope they change it soon otherwise our family life will be ruined.
The Mercer survey found that nearly a third of companies are worried about adjusting to other Gulf countries because of the new weekend. Friday is a holiday in these countries.
Rana, an employee of an events company, said that some of his teams will have to work on Sundays as well. “We do a lot of work with Egypt and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Dubai, which was packed on the first working Friday of the UAE, was absolutely calm. In view of Kovid, people were working from home and children’s classes are also running online.
Ahmed Bilbisi, a 34-year-old banking employee, said, “Working on the first working Friday feels strange. Working on Fridays makes sense, at least for the banking industry. Now we are working on the same day as everyone else in the world.
On social media too, people are expressing their displeasure regarding work on Friday. One user wrote, ‘This looks very wrong. My body and mind are completely used to the Friday holiday. I think Friday is going to be a very long and struggling day.
A user named Kerrington Melin wrote on Twitter, ‘Now the weekend is not starting from Thursday night? I really think Friday should be a holiday.
A user named Kulsoom wrote, ‘One thing I like about UAE is that it has a weekend on Friday. Why are you changing it?’
People are writing on social media that they are not used to Sunday holiday. In such a situation, even after not going to office, he does not feel that he is on leave. However, many people are also supporting this decision and are saying that having a weekend like other countries will make them easier.