The UAE has designed a new work-life balance weekend that starts from Friday. The new work week takes into cognizance the regions religion, culture and its economic interactions with the rest of the world.
Some people in the region thinks that Friday is exclusively a rest day and tends to link this with the Islamic tradition. But this is a misconception. The Quran is specific that while Friday prayer is sacrosanct, it also has specific time allocated for it. After prayers and during the rest of every Friday, the Quranic verse says; people are encouraged to “disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah.”
The new move is an innovative way to enhance the nation’s position in an increasingly competitive world and pave the way for the implementation of the ambitious milestones of the next 50 years.
“Once the prayer is over, disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah,” the Quran says about the all-important Friday prayer. Friday therefore, has not always been a rest day. It was only during the time of prayer and the sermon that people would stop working. Before and after the prayer, Muslims are encouraged to work and “seek the bounty of Allah”.
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A 4.5 Day Working Week
While some other countries are designing a 4.0 work week, the UAE designed a 4.5 work-life balance weekend. According to Gulf News, the working week would start on Monday and end on Friday at 12:00 PM; this is to give ample time for preparation and performance of the Friday prayer. Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday are the new weekend, and the new working hours will be from 7:30am to 3:30pm.
The new directive notes that Friday sermon and prayer across the UAE will be held from 1:15pm. Meanwhile, government employees “will have the flexibility to make arrangements to work from home on Fridays,” the directive says. The rules for the private sector’s weekend will be governed by appropriate Labour Laws.
Since the states are the appropriate entity that regulates work days and non-work days for the interest of the public, the UAE government therefore on Tuesday announced a major change in the working week. The change to the new four and a half day working week will be effective from Jan. 1, 2022.
An holiday can mean you want to do it all (too much) in a day; all-in-a-day. A weak-end, not to talk of a long, unending and boring one, can need a quick return back to a strong week.
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Longer Weekend For Enhance Work-Life Balance And Social Well-Being
The move also takes into account other economic perspectives; the need to align the local market with global markets, international banks, financial institutions, ports and logistic companies. If properly implemented, it will enhance the UAE’s position as a world and regional hub for business and trade. Financial and trade transactions will also be smoother considering that most key global hubs follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend.
The new longer weekend is part of the UAE’s ambitious plan for the next 50 years, which includes enhancing work-life balance and the social well-being of residents and citizens. While at the same time, increasing work output in line with the nation’s economic and competitiveness plans.
It will also allow for more time with the family and longer rest period in an increasingly fast, and competitive globalized working environment.
A long weekend is not the end of work life’s stress. When it is misused, it is the beginning of a new one.
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