Weekend in Dubai or the UAE as a whole is different and as a new expat, that must be one of the many things you need to adjust. Fridays are holy days in the Islamic world so all offices are closed. There’s no work or school on Friday.
The UAE weekend has different patterns, depending on the company you work for.
- Friday-Saturday – the most common weekend, it is also the weekend for all schools
- Thursday afternoon-Friday – stingy companies implement this
- Friday only – just plain abuse
Our weekend schedule is globally unsynchronized. On Fridays when people from other countries are still working, making transactions and sealing deals, we are either at home, at the church, at the beach or at the malls. And when people living outside the UAE are enoying the Sunday sun, having picnic and barbeques outside, we are working.
At first, it was hard for me to adjust to working on Saturdays and Sundays. I felt it was just not right! But then, what can an employee do but follow. The popular expression among expats here ring in my head, “If you don’t like it then leave.”