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Shorter work hours likely for UAE employees from 23rd March

23 February 2023

Employees across the UAE can expect shorter work days after the onset of Muslim fasting month of Ramadan around 23rd March.

The Labour Law says “The normal working hours will be reduced by two hours during the holy month of Ramadan.”

During the holy month, Muslims across the world fast daily for 30 days, based on lunar calendar and sighting of the moon. Those fasting, abstain from consuming any foods, drinks, including water from dawn to dusk.

The reduced work hours are applicable to all employees, irrespective of their religion and whether they fast or not. Any employer who fails to follow this law shall be fined. School days are also reduced during the month.

Although the exact start date of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr will be confirmed only closer to the time by the moon-sighting committee, Ramadan is expected to begin on 23rd March and likely to end on 20th April. This would make the first day of Eid Al-Fitr on 21st April. That means, the holiday is expected to be inline with a four-day weekend in the UAE, failing on 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th April.

On the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, the UAE residents will fast for more than 13 hours, as per the prayer timings published on the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment website.

After Eid Al Fitr, there are officially five more occasions when UAE residents will be given one or more days off this year, including the Arafat Day, followed by Eid al Adha, Islamic New Year, Prophet Mohammed birthday etc. For a detailed list of public holidays in the UAE, visit https://www.guide2dubai.com/living/expat-life/public-holidays.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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