Ramadan 2024: UAE Declares Shortened Working Hours for Public Sector Employees

Ramadan 2024: UAE Declares Shortened Working Hours for Public Sector Employees

In a move to honor the sacred month of Ramadan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has officially announced adjusted working hours for public sector employees. The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) shared the details, outlining a reduction in working hours for federal employees, fostering an environment conducive to spiritual and cultural observances during this significant time.

Ramadan Schedule: A Balance of Tradition and Efficiency

The UAE’s public sector employees will experience a change in their daily routines during Ramadan, marked by a reduction in working hours. As per FAHR’s announcement, federal employees will work 3.5 hours less from Monday to Thursday and 1.5 hours less on Fridays. This decision aims to accommodate the spiritual and cultural practices associated with Ramadan, acknowledging the importance of balance between professional commitments and personal observances.

Operating Hours During Ramadan

During Ramadan, all ministries and federal agencies will operate within the revised schedule of 9 am to 2:30 pm from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the working hours are further adjusted, starting from 9 am until 12 noon. It’s noteworthy that the flexibility is embedded in these guidelines, allowing adjustments if the nature of the work demands it.

Flexibility in Implementation: Adhering to Principles

FAHR emphasizes that ministries and federal agencies may continue to implement flexible or remote work schedules during the holy month. However, such implementations must adhere to the outlined principles and remain within the limits of the approved daily working hours. This flexibility in working arrangements underscores the commitment to creating an inclusive and accommodating work environment during Ramadan.

Remote Work and Employee Flexibility

Acknowledging the evolving nature of work, employees may also be granted the flexibility to work remotely on Fridays during Ramadan. However, FAHR emphasizes that such flexibility should not exceed 70 percent of the total number of employees, adhering to approved guidelines. This approach reflects the UAE’s commitment to fostering a modern and adaptable work culture that recognizes the diverse needs of its workforce.]

Ramadan

Ramadan Commencement and Cultural Observances

According to the Hijri calendar published by the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), Ramadan is anticipated to begin on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The adjusted working hours apply to both fasting and non-fasting employees, ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to actively participate in spiritual activities and cultural practices during this sacred month.

Government Workweek Structure in the UAE

The UAE federal government operates on a four and a half-day working week throughout the year. Outside of Ramadan, employees adhere to an eight-hour workday. Specifically, their working hours span from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm from Monday to Thursday, with Fridays concluding at 12:00 pm. Saturdays and Sundays serve as the official weekends for the federal government sector.

Local Variations in Workweek Structure

Notably, local government entities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah have adopted a similar workweek system, aligning with the federal government’s schedule. However, there are variations in Sharjah, where federal employees observe a four-day workweek from Monday to Thursday, with working hours set from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. The official weekend in Sharjah spans three days, from Friday to Sunday.

Conclusion

The UAE’s announcement of special working hours for public sector employees during Ramadan reflects a thoughtful approach to balancing professional commitments with the cultural and spiritual significance of the holy month. This nuanced strategy not only accommodates the diverse needs of the workforce but also emphasizes the nation’s commitment to creating a work environment that values both tradition and efficiency. As Ramadan approaches, this initiative stands as a testament to the UAE’s dedication to fostering a harmonious and inclusive society.

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