The United Arab Emirates announced that it will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)
The United Arab Emirates announced that it will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)

UAE’s major shift on working week is unprecedented boost for economy

By Nigel Green Time of article published Dec 8, 2021

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The United Arab Emirates announced that it will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend.

The new working week will commence January 1, 2022, across the federation of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain) that make up the UAE.

Currently the working week is Sunday to Thursday.

This is a major cultural, societal and economic shift that can be expected to provide a massive boost for the UAE economy.

The UAE, and in particular Dubai and Abu Dhabi are already recognised as two of the most powerful business and financial hubs in the world by international investors who are lured by the incredible possibilities offered in terms of finance, trade and commerce, plus the famous can do attitude and the low tax environment in these destinations.

The transition to a four and a half day working week which now aligns with most major economies around the world will prove to be another significant ‘pull’ for international corporations that are currently based elsewhere.

We can expect there to be a steady influx of new wealth and job creating businesses relocating to the UAE on the back of this announcement.

It provides a further compelling impetus for an already established commerce hub that has an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a high proposition of high net worth individuals, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure and telecommunications, English as its de-facto business language, and their enviable, central geographical location and time zone.

The news follows the rollout of new legislation in which the UAE will allow 100% ownership of businesses for foreign nationals from December 1, 2020. Previously, all businesses were required to have a UAE citizen sponsor.

The appeal of the UAE has just sky-rocketed further due to the reform of the business ownership law.

Earlier this year, I said that over the next decade, the UAE will become one of the world’s top ten international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong.

The working week announcement is a game-changer for the UAE, significantly ramping up its already impressive competitive advantage.

Nigel Green is the CEO of the deVere Group

BUSINESS REPORT

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