Dubai: September 2 marks the first time in the UAE's history that Saturday will be an official weekend. As per a Cabinet decision taken in May, all governmental bodies and organisations, and public and private schools, will now operate on a Friday-Saturday weekend.

The new working week is set to harmonise the functioning of the public and private sectors much of which already operates on a Friday-Saturday weekend and was initially proposed by Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, Minister of Labour.

In addition to the working of the government, few aspects of life in the UAE will remain untouched by the move, with businesses, shops, cinemas and leisure activities also expected to see normal patterns shaken up by the switchover.

The new weekend is also aimed at bringing the UAE in line with international markets operating on a Saturday-Sunday weekend.