The issue of Emiritisation, among the top priorities in the UAE’s push for progress and development, has received continual impetus over the decades with a particular emphasis on the need for Emiratis to view the private sector not only as an attractive proposition, but also as an integral component of nation-building.

The UAE’s keenness to enhance competitiveness and productivity, in tandem with the acceleration of recruitment in the economic sectors to meet targets, is poised to yield dividends. However, in this context, there is a disparity that calls attention to itself year after year and that is the marked contrast in the duration of Eid holidays for the public and private sectors. This disparity deserves more attention than it is being given at the moment as it holds the potential to be a game changer.

The number of holidays offered by a particular employment sector are an important consideration for a prospective employee as they weigh their options for their future move, and given how important leisure and opportunities for recreation are to overall employee productivity and motivation, which is a scientifically endorsed fact, a parity, particularly in highly aspirational areas such as holidays, would certainly heighten the desirability of the sector. In today’s work environment, that is becoming increasingly fast-paced and demanding, equal time-off privileges can be a powerful instrument of change that will help dispense with the traditional grievance of comparisons and complaints.

As the UAE works to create an optimal and stable work environment in the private sector for its citizens, any effort to smoothen uneven aspects such as the matter of holidays could lead to more advantageous outcomes.