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Indian Diaspora Overwhelmingly Welcome Decision For Weekend Shift In UAE

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


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By Srinivasan Nandagopal

The decision of shifting the weekends to Saturday-Sunday and the four and half work schedules by the Government of UAE, has been hailed by Indian businessmen and professionals as a far sighted decision that will remarkably change the work culture of the private sector in the country. The Indian diaspora, while welcoming the decision overwhelmingly, has opined that the new schedule will enhance the scope of connectivity in trading and related activities between the UAE and the rest of the world.

Speaking exclusively to The Law Reporters, Chairman of Fortune Group, Mr. Praveen Shetty expressed his excitement over the decision and remarked that as a hotelier it was a “Double Bonus” for him. Stating that Dubai had transformed into a major business hub globally, the decision to have weekends on Saturdays and Sundays makes perfect sense to have greater compatibility with the European and American work cultures.

He said that the earlier weekend system had its share of hindrance in financial transactions as there would be a mis-match of at least three days due to the change in the weekends in UAE and other non-Gulf countries. This loss would be now made good with the shift, he remarked adding that UAE, especially its business hub of Dubai could not afford to be in isolation to the rest of the world.

On a lighter vein, Praveen Shetty mentioned that since the other Gulf countries continued with the Friday weekend system, it was a double bonus for him as his hotels would be occupied with the weekend crowds of UAE on Saturday and Sundays while the guests from the neighboring countries like Qatar or Saudi Arabia would flock around on Fridays.

Eminent Corporate Lawyer, Sunil Ambelavelil, welcomed the decision of the UAE rulers and remarked that the country’s leadership in Governance has always considered the good of everyone in all the recent decisions and laws that have been promulgated. It is a great move to shift the weekend as it eases transacting professional businesses with the rest of the world. It will do a world of good for professionals like us who are in constant touch with professional colleagues and other business entities around the world. This will surely boost the economy in the long run, he observed.

The decision on one hand upholds the religious sentiments of the Islamic country as Friday has been rendered half day with the flexibility of even work from home option, while adhering to the international weekly schedule, he mentioned.

Entrepreneur Mr. Hidayat Addor resonated with the rest as he mentioned that Indians who comprise the most of the expatriates will now be able to connect better with their families back home in India due to this shift in the weekends. The shift will also have a cascading impact on hospitality and such businesses for good, he remarked.

The Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), Dr. Abdul Rahman Abdul Mannan Al Awar emphasised on private sector companies to adopt the new weekend schedule. Dr. Al Awar mentioned in a statement that he urges the private companies to make necessary amendments within their human resource structure to enhance their work cultures to provide adequate support to employees.

The shorter working days of four and half days, has also been welcomed with appreciation as it will enhance the work-life balance with more family time for employees. Though the private sector has not been ordered to follow the new system which will come into force from January 1, 2022, it is likely that they will follow suit. With the schools too moving to the new system, the weekend scenario in UAE will change drastically with the arrival of the new year.