In a dramatic and unexpected development, the United Arab Emirates has shifted to a four-and-a-half day Monday-Friday working week for federal government offices, a move to be introduced on January 1, 2022 that the private sector is expected to also adopt in due course.

The federal government’s working week is to change to 7.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 7.30am to 12.00pm on Fridays. Schools, banks and courts are likely to adopt the new framework, as the UAE strives to align itself with business practice in much of the rest of the world.