The UAE will reduce the working week and move the weekend to Saturday and Sunday starting next year, according to a government announcement. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the media office said that employees will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend. 

The new system will take effect from January 1, 2022 and will be observed by all federal government entities. 

The new weekend, which will be in tune with global markets, is intended to “boost productivity and improve work-life balance”, the statement said.

“As of January 1, 2022, federal government departments would move to the new weekend that starts on Friday afternoon,” state news agency WAM said.

The UAE has rolled out several initiatives and legal reforms to make the country more attractive to foreign investment and human capital.

According to the Ministry of Education, the change in the working week announced for government entities would also impact schools across the UAE. The new working hours for schools will be confirmed later by the authority.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria ) 

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