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UAE works on Friday for the primary time

DUBAI: Staff and schoolchildren juggled paintings and research with weekly Muslim prayers at the first ever operating Friday within the United Arab Emirates because the Gulf nation officially switched to a Saturday-Sunday weekend. Some grumbled on the exchange and companies have been cut up, with many shifting to the Western-style weekend however different non-public companies sticking with Fridays and Saturdays, as in different Gulf states.

The weekly day of prayer has at all times been a unfastened day within the UAE, which had in the past seen a Thursday-Friday weekend till 2006. On the other hand, mosques gave the impression busy as worshippers wearing prayer mats arrived as same old, ahead of lots of them later headed again to the place of business. “I’d moderately take (Friday) off,” mentioned 22-year-old Briton Rachel King, who works within the hospitality business and has been dwelling in Dubai for 6 months. “That’s what everyone knows and love, having a Friday off and going to sure puts which might be open and shall we do issues. However now it will be Saturday.”

The UAE made the wonder announcement of the weekend transfer for the general public sector in December because it grapples with emerging festival in global trade from different Gulf international locations. Govt our bodies and colleges will function four-and-a-half-days every week, ultimate at 12 pm on Fridays for a hard and fast prayer time of one:15 pm, while the Muslim prayer agenda in most cases is determined by the location of the solar.

Out of 195 companies polled through human assets consultancy Mercer, handiest 23 % have been making ready to observe the four-and-a-half-day week, however greater than half of would transfer to Saturday-Sunday weekends. “Fortuitously I’ve the similar days off as my children, however that’s now not the case for my husband,” mentioned Fati, who works in a world distribution corporate, asking to not give her complete identify. “He works for a multinational that hasn’t modified its agenda for the instant. I’m hoping they’ll do it briefly, differently our circle of relatives existence shall be ruined.”

Just about a 3rd of businesses are fearful concerning the affect of being out of sync with different international locations within the area, the Mercer ballot discovered. “We paintings so much with Egypt and Saudi Arabia,” mentioned Rana, an worker of an occasions corporate who mentioned a few of her groups must paintings on Sundays. Dubai’s monetary district used to be strangely quiet on Friday with massive numbers operating remotely, particularly at a time of emerging COVID ranges when many kids also are doing on-line education.

“Nowadays is the primary operating Friday, it feels slightly bizarre,” mentioned Ahmad Bilbisi, 34, a banking worker. “It is smart to me, no less than for the banking business. We are actually operating at the similar day as everybody else on this planet.” The brand new association used to be a big speaking level on social media, with one Twitter consumer complaining “it simply feels so flawed”. “My frame and thoughts have totally acclimatized to having Fridays off. I believe these days goes to a protracted onerous fight,” the tweet reads. Sharjah, an emirate neighboring Dubai, has discovered a easy resolution: Mandating Friday, Saturday and Sunday as a three-day weekend. – AFP

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