Stock exchanges in the UAE will start operating Monday-to-Friday after the Emirates' decision to shift its working week, according to a Bloomberg report.

Instead of the current Sunday-to-Thursday working week, the UAE plans to shift its weekend to Saturday and Sunday from January 1, a move that is expected to align it with global markets and boost the local economy by stimulating more capital flows as well as promoting employee productivity and wellbeing.

The exchanges “will operate Monday-Friday and Friday will be a full business day for the stock markets,” Abdulrahman Al Awar, director general of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, said in a Bloomberg TV interview Wednesday. “The decision is made to invest in the competitiveness of the UAE economy and to enhance productivity,” Bloomberg quoted Al Awar as saying.

The UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority will issue further details explaining operating hours to stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Bloomberg reported citing Al Awar.

Dubai announced last month its plans to list 10 government-backed companies on the Dubai Financial Market and set up a 2-billion-dirham market maker fund. Among those already confirmed for public listing are the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), TECOM and the emirate’s road toll system Salik.

The banking and financial sector will be one of biggest beneficiaries of UAE's weekend switch plans, he said.

State news agency WAM reported that Al Awar has urged the private companies and establishments to maximise benefits from the new system by amending their internal rules and regulations in a way that will fit to their respective activities and at the same time, guarantee a supportive and balanced work environment to the employees.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)


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