Thank God It’s Thursday

Hang on – isn’t that meant to be Friday?  But over here in Dubai, the weekend is Friday and Saturday with Thursday and Friday nights the big party nights. 

But why is the weekend different to elsewhere? Well up until the early ’90’s, Friday was the only official holiday (just like in most other places in the Arab world). All government departments worked half-days on Thursdays. As a Muslim country, the sabbath is on the Friday and preparations start the day before. Many international (private) companies had a 2-day weekend with Fridays and Saturdays off. During the ’90’s, the UAE public services was one among several Gulf country administrations to opt for a 2-day weekend with a 5-day week and having Thursdays and Fridays off. Private companies were not obliged to follow this system; however, it was consistent with the 2-day weekend followed in surrounding Gulf nations.

The problem with this arrangement is that international business connections to Western countries are limited to 3 days in the week which is not really enough.  Therefore, the UAE changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday so that there would only be one day in the week that was out of balance – very important for a financial and services global hub.

So I can safely say tomorrow, thank God it’s Thursday and also for the Friday as well as that is the day off!

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