The working week & public holidays in Dubai
Businesses across the world strive to build relationships in Dubai, a central hub of business and success. However, the culture of the country differs wildly from many western countries and so, if you are hoping to do business in Dubai, it’s imperative that you understand the working culture.
In this post, we’ll outline the typical Dubai working week, as well as public holidays in Dubai that may impact when you schedule your conference calls, meetings and deadlines.
THE DUBAI WORKING WEEK
Unlike the typical 9-5 you may be used to, working days and hours vary in Dubai. Rather than working Monday to Friday, the Dubai working week is generally Sunday to Thursday. However, this does vary between businesses, with some companies and retail outlets open six days a week and closed on Fridays.
When scheduling a meeting or conference call in Dubai, always check the company’s working week beforehand to make sure you’re not eating into your client’s downtime.
DUBAI WORKING HOURS
Likewise, the working hours in Dubai vary from what you may expect. Due to the high temperatures the country experiences, the working day is designed to offer workers respite when the temperature is at its highest. This means many businesses in Dubai operate between 08.00-13:00 then 16:00-19:00 when the temperatures have cooled.
Remember that Dubai is three hours ahead of the UK, so scheduling a call for 8am Dubai time will mean a very early start in the UK! If you want to schedule a conference call in-line with your 9-5 working hours, it’s wise to schedule them for the latter part of the Dubai working day, as this will be early afternoon in the UK.
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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN DUBAI
There are many public holidays in Dubai that you should also be aware of. While some have a fixed date, others are determined on moon sightings so their actual date may vary.
As a general guide, here are the main public holidays in Dubai:
- 1st January - Gregorian New Year
- 6th May - Start of Ramadan (this is the expected start date, lasting 30 days)
- 4th June - Eid Al-Fitr (expected date, lasting 4 days)
- 11th August - Arafat (Haj) Day (expected date)
- 12th August - Eid Al-Adha (expected date, lasting three days)
- 30th August - Hijri New Year (expected date)
- 10th November - Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (expected date)
- 30th November - UAE Commemoration Day
- 2nd December - UAE National Day (2 days)
Many people in Dubai observe the above public holidays and as such, they are non-working days. This is with the exception of the 30-day fasting of Ramadan, when Muslims continue to work but working hours are reduced by 2 hours each day.
When delivering any work or arranging communications with your client, it’s important to stay mindful of these dates to make sure you remain respectful of the country’s culture. In special instances, employees may work over the holidays where required, so it’s always worth checking.
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Our resident marketing specialist, Dan divides most of his time between drinking coffee and translating developer terminology for the English languageFollow @meetupcall
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