The UAE has announced a ban on working in open spaces and under direct sunlight from 12.30pm to 3pm daily, effective June 15 to September 15.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) said daily working hours shall not exceed eight hours during the months of the ban. If an employee is made to work more than eight hours a day, the additional period will be considered overtime and the employee would be entitled to compensation.

Employers are required to provide a shaded area where workers can rest during the midday break.


A fine of Dh5,000 for each worker will be imposed on employers found to be in violation of the provisions and regulation of the ban. The maximum fine amount is Dh50,000 when multiple workers are made to work during the banned hours.

Community members are encouraged to report violations on 600590000 or the MoHRE’s app.


Some jobs require work to continue uninterrupted and they are exempted from the midday work ban. These include:

>> Laying asphalt or pouring concrete, where it is unfeasible to postpone these tasks until after the break.

>> Work needed to contain hazards or repair damages that affect the community such as interruptions to water supply or electricity, cutting off traffic, and other major issues.

>> Work that require a permit from a relevant government authority to be implemented, given their impact on the flow of traffic and services. These tasks require non-stop work, including cutting or diverting main traffic routes, power lines, and communications.

In the case of exempted jobs, the employer is required to provide sufficient cold drinking water for workers. Public health and safety requirements should be maintained by providing hydrating food, such as salts and/or other food items approved for use by the local authorities in the UAE. They must also provide first-aid at the work site, adequate industrial cooling, umbrellas that protect from direct sunlight, and shaded areas for workers to rest during their downtime.

Prioritising workers' health

Mohsen Al Nassi, assistant undersecretary for Inspection Affairs at the MoHRE, said: “The health and safety of workers is the cornerstone of labour market legislation. The midday work break, which is being implemented for the 19th year in a row, is in line with the highest professional and humane standards designed to protect workers from potential risk of injury resulting from high temperatures during the summer, especially at noon.

“The decision to ban work at midday is a notable milestone for the labour market and an integral part of work environment regulations in the UAE and of our community culture … The ministry’s partners and other individuals launch a range of initiatives during the summer months to provide supplies that protect workers from exposure, heat exhaustion, and sunstroke,” he added.

Over the past years, the ministry has seen “impressive compliance rates”.

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