The major change in the United Arab Emirates’ working week that will be aligned with the western weekend as of next month, will be an unprecedented boost for the Gulf economy, said the chief executive of a $12 bln financial giant.
The UAE announced Tuesday that it will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend, a major shift from the current week of Sunday to Thursday.
The new working week will commence January 1, 2022, across the federation of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain) that make up the UAE.
“This is a major cultural, societal and economic shift that can be expected to provide a massive boost for the UAE economy,” said Nigel Green, CEO and founder of Dubai-headquartered deVere Group.
“This is a game-changer for the UAE, significantly ramping up its already impressive competitive advantage,” he said.
“The UAE, and in particular Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are already recognised as two of the most powerful business and financial hubs in the world by international investors in terms of finance, trade and commerce, plus the famous ‘can do’ attitude and the low tax environment in these destinations.
Aligned with most economies
“The transition to a four and a half day working week which now aligns with most major economies around the world will prove to be another significant ‘pull’ for international corporations that are currently based elsewhere.”
Green expects there will be a steady influx of new wealth and job creating businesses relocating to the UAE on the back of this announcement.
“It provides a further compelling impetus for an already established commerce hub that has an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a high proposition of high-net worth individuals, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure and telecommunications, English as its de-facto business language, and their enviable, central geographical location and time zone.”
The news follows recent legislation whereby the UAE allows 100% ownership of businesses by foreign nationals from December 1, 2020, whereas in the past all businesses were required to have a UAE citizen sponsor.
Earlier this year, the deVere boss had said that over the next decade, the UAE will become one of the world’s top ten international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong.