Corporate slaves like me working 6 days a week received some good news a few days ago: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, announced during the two-day Government Summit in Dubai, a proposed Holidays boost to make private sector jobs more appealing to Emiratis.
The employment reality is this:
- The UAE is facing a huge percentage of unemployment among Emiratis (now hovering at 20% unemployed)
- Private sector only have Fridays off
- Public sector has Fridays and Saturdays off + longer public holidays for Eid, etc
- Public sector pay is much better than private sector
- Emiratis strongly prefer to work in the public sector as lower pay and lesser holidays make the private sector less appealing to them (ahem, obviously)
Sheikh Mansour outlined what he called a “real but illogical example” of the difference between the two sectors,
A person who works with the public sector works five days a week and with salaries three times more than his counterpart in the private sector, while the person in the private sector works more hours and with less pay.
Given that the employment of Emiratis in the public sector has reached a saturation point, the minister said they would want to concentrate on the private sector: overhaul current things up, starting with the holidays and maybe later on, salary differences.
I know many expats who report for work 6 days a week are crossing their fingers on having that two days off. Ah, I for one, am looking forward to it! Would that be a bliss.