The United Arab Emirates is shifting its weekend to Saturday and Sunday because it seeks to appeal to extra international funding and staff by aligning practises with the West.
Officials introduced that the weekend will now start on Friday afternoon, in a break from the regional norm of a Sunday-Thursday working week.
It comes as the Gulf state seeks to diversify its oil-dependent financial system and appeal to $150bn (£113bn) in abroad funding over the subsequent 9 years.
The Emirati authorities stated the reforms will “guarantee easy monetary, commerce and financial transactions with nations that observe a Saturday-Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger worldwide business hyperlinks and alternatives for hundreds of UAE-based and multinational firms”.
The state’s authorities outlined plans to liberalise its residency guidelines in September, with the goal of accelerating the variety of expert staff coming to the nation. Its plans embody creating new visa classes for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Residency in the UAE has been tied to employment for many years, which means a wave of expats sometimes go away the state throughout financial downturns.
Mohammed Ali Yasin of Al Dhabi Capital, a money supervisor based mostly in Abu Dhabi, stated that the monetary trade would profit most from the reforms, in addition to the tourism trade: “It could be a good experiment for other countries in the region.”
It is the newest try by UAE officers to put together the Gulf state for a post-oil future.
The UAE stated it might enable versatile working and do business from home on Friday, which is often a day without work in predominantly Muslim nations.
Officials will deliver the new weekend into pressure for the public sector on January 1. According to The National newspaper, the college system is anticipated to undertake the identical routine and the non-public sector is probably going to observe in the close to future.
The transfer is the newest in sequence of main reforms in the conservative, oil-rich Gulf state that are designed to appeal to extra funding and align it with world markets. It can be enjoyable the guidelines on alcohol consumption and cohabitation earlier than marriage.
In November, the UAE additionally introduced it might not jail those that deliver sure hashish merchandise into the nation below plans to ease strict anti-drug legal guidelines.
The new regulation says guests bringing meals, drinks and different objects containing hashish into the UAE will not be imprisoned on a primary offence. Instead, the authorities will confiscate and destroy the merchandise.