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UAE extends weekend to start Friday afternoon and last through Sunday

Dec. 07, 2021
2 min read
UAE extends weekend to start Friday afternoon and last through Sunday
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Shifting a long-standing religious observance policy common among Islamic nations, weekends in the United Arab Emirates will begin Friday afternoon come next year, the UAE government announced on Twitter on Dec. 7.

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Dubai. (Photo by Buena Vista Images/Getty Images)

The UAE will ring in the new year by transitioning to a 4 1/2-day work week starting Jan. 1, 2022, applicable to all federal employees in the country and aimed at "longer weekends to boost productivity and improve work-life balance."

Friday and Saturday are the weekend days in most of the six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. This extension by the UAE breaks with much of the Middle East in observing a midday Friday prayer time in a country that is largely Muslim.

Instead, the UAE will hold Friday sermons and prayers after 1:15 p.m. throughout the year.

Related: World’s largest floating nightclub opens in Dubai on historic QE2 cruise ship

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As for travelers, more time on the weekend means more time to enjoy typical weekend activities, such as Friday brunch, which the UAE is known for. Time will tell as to whether you can expect to brunch on both Fridays and Saturdays.

COVID-19-related travel restrictions depend on which country you are visiting in the UAE. For example, all those entering Dubai must show results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, while fully vaccinated travelers headed to Abu Dhabi must show a test taken within 48 hours before departure. Read more about traveling to the UAE here.

Related: Abu Dhabi drops quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023