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Working days per week

As a result of a labour reform in 2006, the “Thursday–Friday“ weekend was replaced by the

“Friday-Saturday“ weekend

in all GCC states.

This change meant that UAE working days were more

closely aligned to those of the Western world. Most employees work 5 days per week

, although a

5.5- or 6-day week is common practice among several companies in the UAE as well. Pursuant to

the labour law, “Friday is the normal weekly holiday for all employees except for those on daily wage


Ø 5 days per week

Vacation days per year

Full-time employees working in the UAE are entitled to holiday leave as per the Labour Law, which

broadly includes annual or recreational leave, sick leave and maternity leave. However, the structure

of holidays differs for the public and the private sectors. With regard to public holidays, it is open to

private sector employers to grant their employees a holiday or to pay them instead: “The employee

must be granted an

annual leave during each year

of service which may not be less than (…)


days per month.” Eighty per cent

of the respondents stated that they receive an annual leave allo-

wance of

30 days

, while 13 per cent of the employees are authorised to take 25 days. The remaining

7 per cent take between 24 and 22 days’ annual leave. During an employment probation period

employees are not entitled to any leave. Contrary to the European standard, annual leave is usually

calculated on the basis of calendar days rather than working days.

Ø 30 days paid leave

Working hours per week

The working week in the UAE varies between the mandatory 40 and 48 hours, depending on an indi-

vidual company’s policy. As per the UAE’s Labour Law, the provision covering working time reads as

follows: “The maximum normal working hours for adult employees shall be eight hours per day or

forty eight hours per week”. In the month of Ramadan, the working day is reduced to six hours per


As can be seen on the graph, the collected data shows that practices reflect the legal regulations.

Companies from the German-speaking economy are in line with market requirements concerning

their general conditions.

Working conditions

Average working hours per week

> 61

56 - 60

51 - 55

46 - 50

41 - 45

36 - 40

35 >








HR & Salary Report 2015