I work from Saturday (when most of the people from “normal” parts of the globe are probably trying to sleep longer after a Friday party) to Wednesday from 8:30 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 18:00. No overtime. But it does not end there…I work on Thursdays too, as in today, from 8:30 – 13:30 (skipping the normal time for lunch!). That leaves me with only the Thursday afternoon and the whole day of Friday off and I am not happy with that, or at least not until I get used to it, anyway.
Why do we have these strange schedule? First, this is a Muslim country and Friday is their holy day. Last year, the weekend had been changed to Friday-Saturday, motivated by the usefulness of being in line, as much as possible, with international markets. The United Arab Emirates is increasingly taking on the role of commercial hub of the Arab world, a position formerly occupied by Lebanon. This is especially true of Dubai, the largest in terms of population of the seven States that have made up the Emirates since 1971 and the most thriving in economic terms, even if it has practically no oil at all.
The transition of the weekend from Thursday-Friday to Friday-Saturday took off September of last year. I arrived in Dubai last January 13, Saturday and suddenly was asked to report to the office. Turned out that my company has shifted back to the “old” weekend of Thursday-Friday, meaning work starts on Saturday!
The main problem will start to creep in once Maki starts working and having the same weekend with me. The schools stuck to the new weekend of Friday-Saturday so our darling daughter is home on Saturdays when I am working and when Maki will be working. How will we go with that?