Dubai: Residents in the UAE have welcomed the government’s decision to change the weekend in the country, saying that the move will ensure work-life balance.
Earlier today, the UAE announced that from January 1, 2022, it would be moving away from its Friday-Saturday weekend and instead have Saturday-Sunday as the new weekend, with Friday being a half-day at work. Therefore, the new weekend will effectively begin from Friday afternoon and extend until Sunday. So, residents will be able toenjoy a four-and-a-half work week from the New Year.
‘Decision will bring balance to residents’ lives’
Mina Kiwan, 36, associate director in the public relations industry, said: “The news comes as a pleasant surprise, especially since it is close to the year-end. The decision to change the weekend, in my opinion, is a major one and it will hugely impact residents’ lives. It will create a huge balance between work and personal lives of residents. The leadership of the UAE is always considerate towards all stakeholders and this is one such instance.”
Prayer timings not affected by the weekend
Emirati doctor, Dr Humaid Bin Hamal Al-Shamsi, consultant, Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology director at Burjeel Hospital Dubai said the government had taken into account all stakeholders before taking the decision to extended the weekend. “For example, to start the weekend after prayers is a great decision. This will mean that our prayers will not be impacted. Besides, as a doctor, I am pleased with the extended weekend as this means that we physicians and doctors will get more time to reflect on the field of medicine.”
‘New weekend news brings happiness’
Khadim Hussain Abid, a Pakistani businessman in Dubai, said: “This is definitely a surprising news for people residing in the UAE and we welcome this wholeheartedly. I believe that countries that have adopted similar schedules have had successful results in terms of increased productivity and employee happiness. This change will give people more time to enjoy and relax, which will in turn help them work more enthusiastically during the week. Personally, this news brings happiness to my family and me as it means we will spend more quality time with each other and also get enough time to de-stress and be relaxed.”
‘Decision will build relations with international companies’
Filipino expatriate Ann Bequizo, 21, an account executive, said the shorter working week will boost everyone’s morale and improve wellbeing. “The extended weekend will build a stronger and healthier workforce who will be motivated to be more productive. The UAE companies are very diverse. Many are tied up with international firms all over the world, where the weekend falls on Saturday and Sunday. So this will tie-in really well. It will definitely build stronger relations with international firms.”
‘Larger global presence’
Indian expatriate Prashanti S, 37, product engineer for a bank in UAE, said: “The UAE has always taken pride in its global presence as the most cosmopolitan country in the world. A shift to Saturday-Sunday weekend to align itself to other countries does not come as a surprise, but as a welcoming change. We work with vendors across the globe who are not able to reach us on Fridays and we in turn cannot reach them on Sundays. This change will now allow for a rise in productivity with either side not losing two days in a week.”
Coping with school
Portuguese mother Sandra Cristina Isidro Martinho, 46, said: “As a mother, I like the idea of an extended weekend, considering that I will have more time to be with my son and husband — but more specifically as a mother, with my son going to a private international school. I feel optimistic as a mother and am waiting for more news on this in the days to come.”
‘It will take some time to get used to it’
Jordanian Bana Khalaf, 27, PR account manager, said: “Growing up in the Middle East, it does make me feel sad that the Fridays will no longer be the same. It will take some time for everyone to get used to this change, I must admit. Having said that, I do know that this decision will make the UAE more attractive as a regional destination for foreign companies. This will align the UAE with global markets and make it more convenient for international corporations to do business.”
'More entertainment offerings owing to extended weekend'
Italian entertainer based in Dubai, Walter Scalzone, 36, said the extended weekend will provide more opportunities for entertainment. “As an entertainer and musician, I am super excited with this news from the UAE Government. The longer weekend just means people will have more time to enjoy their time off. A longer weekend means residents will be way more relaxed.”
Italian entertainer based in Dubai, Walter Scalzone, 36, said the extended weekend will establish more opportunities for entertainment. “As an entertainer and musician, I am super excited with this news from the UAE Government. The longer weekend just means people have more time to enjoy their time off. A longer weekend means residents will be way more relaxed.”
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