A number of private sector employees have complained that their companies force them to work regular hours during Ramadan, despite the Ministry of Labour decision cutting down daily working hours to six during the holy month. This picture is for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: A majority of the residents employed in the private sector return to work on Thursday while Eid Al Fitr festivities are still going on across the country, with families visiting one another and friends planning get-togethers over the long public sector break. They say shorter holiday is an unwelcome interruption to their plans.

"It is heartbreaking to have to come to work tomorrow, because it cuts my plans short. It was also really difficult to come in this morning because I know that so many other people are still enjoying Eid with their families and friends," Mohammad Masoud Ahmad, a 42-year-old travel executive from India, told Gulf News.

While public sector firms return to work on Sunday, most private sector employees have had only Tuesday and Wednesday off work for Eid.

Ahmad said the private sector should also get at least three days of Eid holidays. He added that his 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter had been disappointed to see him leaving for work in the morning.

Plans go awry

Jessy C., a 24-year-old media executive from Lebanon also agreed with Ahmad, saying she had had to forego plans with her friends.

Some private sector workers, however, said that their companies had not required them to report to work.

"We were given an additional day off on Thursday, and this was a pleasure," said Shadi Mustafa, a 22-year-old accountant from Bangladesh who works in a consultancy in the capital.

"For me, this was an added bonus because it is my birthday," Mustafa added.