UAE extends weekend to start Friday afternoon and last through Sunday
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
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.
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.
Featured photo by Umar Shariff Photography/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/31/22.
- 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
- 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
- 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
- Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees