Sunday as a holiday will need some getting used to in the UAE. Image Credit: Seyyed de'Llata/Gulf News

Sunday morning, up with the lark

I think I’ll take a walk in the park

Hey, hey, hey it’s a beautiful day...

There was a new ring to English pop musician Daniel Boone’s old classic Beautiful Sunday as UAE residents marked the New Year’s first Sunday as a weekly holiday today. With the weather being what it was, it made for a great day to curl up with a book and some hot chocolate indoors or venture out, depending on how they felt. While some did take that walk in the park or enjoyed a long drive, others went about their mall visits, grocery shopping or other weekend routines.

True, Sunday as a holiday will need some getting used to in the UAE. It was too early to tell how a Sunday-off made a difference this time, because the usual Friday weekend remained in place as 2021 morphed into 2022. This made it seem like it was just an extended weekend.

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But going forward, the realignments in school and office schedules will change that. Many believe that Sunday, and not Saturday, will carry the premium day-off tag. The belief is based on the general experience in most countries that have a Saturday-Sunday weekend. And remember every day is not a Sunday – although every day can’t be a Saturday either.

This morning, Metro commuters woke up to a new routine. They had to wait until 8am to catch a train, unlike earlier Sundays when they could get on board at 5am. Fridays and Saturdays, like the rest of the days, will now see the trains rolling out at 5am.

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As a result, many part-time workers and others alike, who start off early and depend on the Metro to commute, will now take Sundays off. Similarly, corporates that have a six-day week are looking at Sundays as the weekly holidays. Some bank branches that will work half days on Saturdays have also declared a full holiday on Sundays.

In terms of entertainment, Sundays are the traditional fun days in many parts of the world. In line with global trends, UAE restaurants have announced Sunday brunches and Sunday roasts, with offers aplenty on their menus. Several event companies have also let on that henceforth, their headline shows will be scheduled on Sundays.

Well, start marking your diaries and brace yourselves for the Sunday action.

For now, here’s wishing you a wonderful work-week ahead.