Wishing, hoping for a two-day weekend!

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.

Photo credit


  1. The private sector is competition & demand/supply based and consists of everything from small companies to multinationals. Each company plays at a different level with competition being the common denominator.

    Emiratisation is a worthy goal but the emphasis on weekends ignores how important innovation, qualifications and skills are. In that article that you’ve linked to in your post, that quote by Sheikh Mansour in the last paragraph is probably the most important part of the article.



  2. Two days off in the least one should expect in a country like UAE. I had no idea that the private sector gets only one day off (my husband gets two). Kudos to you for working six days a week!



  3. I pray and hope it will push through. It’s ironic too that the people who do the hard labor and all get only one day off. They must rest for their health as their families depend on them a lot on them.

    Btw, I was able to register on blog carnival but didn’t know where to put the link. I thought it would be as easy as Mr. Linky hehe



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