Foreign Banks Will Work Only 5-Days In This Country; 5-Day Week Is The Future?
In a move to align work weeks in the UAE with most global markets, top banks are switching to a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the New Year.
Starting from Jan. 3, Deutsche Bank AG will operate Monday-Friday instead of the current Sunday-Thursday as is common around the Middle East.
Its employees who work on Sundays will be granted flexibility on Fridays.
JPMorgan Chase & Co will do the same, along with flexible practices such as a break for Muslim prayers on Fridays.
It will also offer the option to work on Sundays if needed.
France-based Societe Generale SA will implement Saturday-Sunday weekend from Jan. 2 in its Dubai and Abu Dhabi entities.
However in this case, the shift is unlikely to have a major impact since it doesn’t have trading desks in Dubai or Riyadh.
Govt Announces New Work Week
The decisions from the banks come after the UAE said on Dec. 7 that schools and the public sector would shift to a four-and-a-half day week (with a half day on Friday) with a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the start of next year.
From Jan. 1, the weekend will start on Friday afternoon, including for schools.
It currently has a Friday-Saturday weekend.
Why The Change?
It is adopting the new norm taking into consideration employees’ work-life balance and that several majority-Muslim nations, such as Indonesia and Morocco, have Saturday-Sunday weekends.
It would also “ensure smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international business links and opportunities”.
UAE stock exchanges would also be more integrated with global markets.
However, private companies can choose their own working week.
The UAE has been actively making efforts to increase its appeal to foreign investment and talent amidst growing economic rivalry with Saudi Arabia.