New work week in UAE: many companies switch to day one, others will take longer to sync

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Day 1 of the new working week in Dubai. For certain companies and certain sectors, it is only a question of adjusting mentalities and the start of the week. In others, it will take detailed planning to get all the cogs to work properly.
Image Credit: Clint Egbert / Gulf News

Dubai: It’s the first day for UAE businesses starting their new work week Monday through Friday – and everything is going according to plan. In some industries, however, companies expect to take longer to make any necessary changes.

One such area is healthcare, where management and front office staff have transitioned effortlessly. Regarding the hospital and clinic staff, “We will use this month to see how the schedules can be changed and make the complete change for all hospital staff starting in February,” a senior said. responsible for one of the largest healthcare networks in the UAE. . “That way we can be sure the transition is as smooth as possible. “

This is the feedback that other private sector health care companies are also providing. The UAE government, in its initial announcement of the UAE workweek and weekend change, said the private sector would have the flexibility to adopt whatever changes it sees fit.

Healthcare sources say the longer time it takes has more to do with implementing administration-related changes than a drastic overhaul. Considering the 24/7 nature of the services they provide, the working days of doctors and support staff need those extra days to keep everything running smoothly.

20200909 UAE coronavirus

Healthcare operators will use the learnings and feedback generated in January to make the workweek change as smooth as possible.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan / Gulf News

Learn more about mentalities

In other sectors, the change is linked to subtle shifts in demand patterns and how this would influence consumer choices. The travel and hospitality industry is coming out of its busiest time of year and that adds to the challenges involved. “It’s too early to say anything – we’ll have a better idea in a week or two,” said a spokesperson for travel agency Al Badie. “Even if passengers wish to change their reservations to opt for a flight on Saturday or Sunday (rather than leaving Thursday evening or Friday), they really cannot, as there are no seats available at least until to January 12. “

Travel industry sources believe that it will be necessary to wait until the next Eid holiday for the full effect of the weekend change to be felt by airlines and allied sectors. Airlines will likely wait until then to make these changes to flight schedules to meet demand patterns.

Stock - Shopping in Dubai (Ahmed Ramzan)

The retail sector and buyers will have adopted the new workweek in the United Arab Emirates the fastest.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramdan / Gulf News

Retailers are adapting

Retail businesses in the United Arab Emirates operate with a minimum shift between working days. These businesses are good to last 365 days, and for them, going from Sunday to Monday is just a small thing. The only question then is to play with staff vacations, their daily shifts, etc.

“I can say that there are no major changes as such – we usually had staff for two shifts and we also considered weekly leave / staff vacations,” said Ashish Panjabi, director of operations at Jacky’s Group. “It still goes on.”

We are now synchronized with their working days, allowing insurers in the UAE to access global reinsurance markets on all their working days.

– Mustafa Vazayil of Gargash Insurance

Better integration

For UAE financial services, the effect of the weekend shift can be done with minimal disruption. Only staff in direct contact with consumers should make changes, whether in banks or insurance companies. Back office operations already have a Monday through Friday element, given the constant need to be fully integrated into global markets.

“For the UAE insurance industry, the new working days are a welcome step,” said Mustafa Vazayil, Managing Director of Gargash Insurance. “This will allow better integration with the global insurance market. We are now synchronized with their working days, allowing insurers in the UAE to access global reinsurance markets on all their working days. This allows high value and specialized risks to be placed without default.

Having a synchronized trading schedule will increase the depth and performance of local stock markets

– Vijay Valecha of Century Financial

Investors are aware

DFM and ADX were among the first entities to confirm their new working days, both operating from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Investors in the UAE will be among the biggest beneficiaries of end-users, given that they are perfectly in sync with the global stock markets and without the lag that often occurs when the US and international stock markets resume trending and rise or fall. as a result. (Say something’s going on that triggers the US stock markets on a Friday – its ripples will be felt about 36 hours later on a Sunday morning here.)

As a multinational, we are certain that the new work week will better align us in the UAE with the global markets of Marsh, our multinational customers and partners, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map. In Marsh, UAE, a transition to a hybrid work model was in action even before Covid. With the change accelerated since 2020, it will allow us to adapt quickly to the needs of our customers

– Ayman El Hout, CEO of Marsh UAE

The shift is what’s going with the new weekday cycle here. “In the past, given that the UAE had its trading week starting on Sunday, a public holiday for international markets, interest in local markets and liquidity was low,” said Vijay Valecha, director investments at Century Financial. “Additionally, on Friday, the last trading of the week, the UAE market is not functional, and it tends to be one of the most volatile as it is the last trading day of the international week. .

“This robs the UAE of international attention and, therefore, of liquidity. Having a synchronized trading schedule will increase the depth and performance of local markets. The alignment of the work week with the West means that the UAE’s stock exchanges would be open when global capital markets were functioning, which would likely lead to increased business activity that would attract more foreign investment to the region. “

By moving to a working week from Monday to Friday, the UAE’s financial sector will be closer to global stock markets, forex, banks and financial institutions and advance business and foreign trade.

– Rashid Mahboob Al Qubaisi, CEO of Aafaq Islamic Finance


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