United Arab Emirates

The UAE has shortened its workweek for all government employees, allowing staff to have a half day on a Friday.

  • Government 4.5 day work week
  • Asia

4 Day Working Week in the United Arab Emirates

While the United Arab Emirates has not yet moved to a 4 day work week, the government announced at the end of 2021 that government agencies and schools will be moving to a 4.5 day work week.

With this shift, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first country in the world to officially move to a work week that is less than the traditional 5 days. The province of Sharjah has gone one further, and has adopted 4 day week model.

Working Hours in the United Arab Emirates

A standard working day in the UAE is 8 hours long, although for some industries, the working day can be extended to 9 hours, with approval from the Ministry of Human Labour and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Other regulations also apply to workers, including a limit of 7 hours of work per day for workers whose jobs require physical labor.

Historically, the weekend in the UAE took place between Friday and Saturday. However, with the UAE government’s recent announcement, the entire country has shifted the weekend to Saturday and Sunday.

Vacation Policy in the United Arab Emirates

According to the UAE Labor Law, employees are entitled to annual leave each year. There are 10 major holidays that employers are required to grant to their employees. If employers require an employee to work on a major holiday, the employee must be compensated with overtime pay.

Vacation Policy in the United Arab Emirates


Annual leave is accrued by employees based on the amount of time they have worked. For example, an employee who has worked at least six months in a company is entitled to 2 days off per month. Depending on the employer, weekends may be included in annual leave time.

Vacation Policy in the United Arab Emirates


Part Time Working in the United Arab Emirates

Part time employment rates are extremely low in the United Arab Emirates when compared to other countries. In 2019, only 3% of the UAE’s total workforce was classified as part time.

The proportion of part time female workers in the UAE is double the proportion of part time male workers. 4% of the total female workforce was working part time as of 2019, while part time work only accounted for 2% of the UAE’s total male workforce

Remote Working in the United Arab Emirates

Many employees in the UAE enjoy remote work opportunities, with more international companies looking to hire jobseekers in the country. In a recent study, almost 90% of UAE workers reported a preference for either a hybrid or fully remote work model. Employees reported a higher level of wellness and motivation when working from home.

In another report produced by the Poly Evolution of the Workplace report, 67.6% of UAE employees stated they are more productive when working remotely.