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Why the UAE Private Sector is Embracing the New 4.5 Day Work Week

The major new reforms to the work week announced by the UAE government has made headlines around the world, the trailblazing decision has been applauded internationally for the move will help boost work-life balance and align the Emirates with global markets.

UAE 4.5 day work week

Currently, as far as the private sector is concerned, employers have been urged to readjust employee weekly days off in a manner that fits the company activities and ensures competitiveness and success.

Since the 4.5 day work week was announced last week, many of the UAE’s private sector firms have already begun to implement the new work week adjustments. ITP media group was one of the first to embrace the new work week which aligns them closer to the global markets, CEO Ali Akawi told

“As a media house with operations and partners around the world, we welcome this decision to better align with global markets. This move underscores the UAE’s contribution at an international level in terms of trade, talent and innovation, and ITP Media Group applauds this as we look to the next 50 years.”

Other private companies such as Deloitte, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Mediclinic and Danube Group have also announced a switch to the new weekend, with flexible timings announced for Fridays.

Galadari Brothers are also one of the first private sector firms in the UAE to adopt a new weekend. Starting January 1, 2022, employees will work Monday to Thursday from the office, with the option to work from home on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will form the new weekend at the company. Mohammed Galadari, Co-chairman of Galadari Brothers, told Khaleej Times

“The new workweek better aligns with global markets, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map. The move will help the country attract talents from around the world. Galadari Brothers’ new workweek gives flexible timings to our staff.”

While the UAE announced a new 4.5-day workweek to be applied in the federal government, the UAE’s Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar stressed that the new labor law grants private companies the flexibility to choose the off days for employees. However, with so many UAE private sector firms already embracing the new 4.5 day work week, many other private companies are expected to follow in due course to remain competitive and boost attractiveness for employees seeking a better work/life balance.

This January, the United Arab Emirates will step into the future of work, the 4.5-day workweek, which can improve the lives of workers and families and increase the UAE’s competitiveness at a global level by syncing markets, working days and boosting economic productivity.


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