The United Arab Emirates is slashing its working week to four-and-a-half days and moving its weekend from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday, officials said.
The "national working week" will be mandatory for government bodies from January and is aimed at improving work-life balance and economic competitiveness, state media said on Tuesday.
"The UAE is the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week," official news agency WAM reported.
The UAE will become the only Gulf country with a Saturday-Sunday weekend, a move that brings it into line with most of the non-Arab world. The weekend will start at noon on Fridays, the day of prayer in Muslim countries.
"The extended weekend comes as part of the UAE government's efforts to boost work-life balance and enhance social wellbeing, while increasing performance to advance the UAE's economic competitiveness."