The midday break has led to a significant reduction in cases of workers’ exposure to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, officials say Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) on Wednesday announced that the midday break for workers at project and construction sites will be from 12.30pm to 3pm, starting on June 15 and concluding on September 15.

Mohsen Al Nassi, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Inspection Affairs at MOHRE said the midday break – being implemented for the 18th consecutive year – comes under the ministry’s continued implementation of its integrated system for occupational health and safety. The regulations aim to provide a safe working environment for workers and spare them the risk of exposure to high temperatures during the summer months.

He pointed out that the midday break during the afternoon hours is a key feature in the UAE, and has achieved positive results over the past years. Notably, this has led to a significant reduction in cases of workers’ exposure to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, reinforced by relevant reports issued by health authorities in the country.

Awareness drive

Al Nassi praised the positive role and support of the private sector establishments who have committed to implementing the midday break over the years. He added that in concurrence with the midday break, various awareness and guidance activities and initiatives that focus on educating workers and employers about the importance of adhering to the work ban at the specified times, will be implemented in cooperation with government and private entities and institutions in the various regions and emirates of the country.

Report violations

The ministry also said that it receives reports from community members about any violation of the midday break through the call centre on 600590000, from Monday to Saturday (8am to 8pm) in several languages, in addition to receiving reports through the smart app of the ministry.

Exempted jobs

Some jobs are exempted from the work ban in the afternoon for technical reasons, which require work to continue uninterrupted. These include project works such as spreading the asphalt mixture or pouring concrete or other work necessary to ward off danger, repair, damage, malfunctions or accidental emergency losses, including work to repair obstruction in water supply lines, sewage lines, electric lines, or obstruction of traffic on public roads, and gas or oil pipelines.

It also excludes works whose implementation requires a permit from a competent government agency due to their impact on the flow of traffic and services, such as cutting off electricity and telecom lines.

Employers’ responsibility

In the event of works or tasks that for technical reasons should continue without interruption during the afternoon hours, the employer shall provide cold drinking water commensurate with the number of workers on duty, and the conditions of safety and public health should be maintained by providing hydrating food and liquid such as salt, lemon and other materials that are approved for use by the local authorities in the country.

In addition, companies should keep provisions for first-aid at the work site, appropriate industrial cooling facilities and shades from direct sunlight, and providing a shaded place for workers to rest during their rest.

Employers are also required to post the schedule of daily working hours in a prominent place in accordance with the provisions of the midday break, provided that it is in a language that the worker understands, in addition to Arabic.


An administrative fine will be imposed on establishments that violate the midday break amounting to Dh5,000 for each worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 in case multiple workers are working in violation of the midday break.