Reduced working hours have been announced for private sector firms across the UAE for the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims across the world indulge in fasting and abstain from smoking between sunrise and sunset.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) announced on 22 March 2022 that work timings would be reduced by two hours for private-sector employees every day throughout the month of Ramadan.
It is noted that April 2 will mark the first day of Ramadan in 2022. The actual date will be determined by the sighting of the crescent moon on which the Islamic calendar is based.
Islamic months last either 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the crescent. This year, Ramadan is expected to last 30 days till May 1. This means that May 2 is likely to be the first day of the Islamic festival, Eid Al Fitr.
Authorities had earlier announced that work timings for federal government entities during the holy month would be 9 am till 2.30 pm on weekdays (Monday to Thursday). On Fridays, which is a half working day, the timings would be from 9 am to 12 noon.
The UAE had shifted to a new workweek at the beginning of 2022, Friday being half-day with Saturday and Sunday becoming the new weekend in the country.
The government also announced flexible hours and remote work options for federal employees on Fridays. Entities can grant employees these options, but the workflow must not be affected.
The remote work option can be given to a maximum of 40 percent of employees within an entity on Fridays.
Those working remotely would need to get prior approvals from the authorities concerned. Also, this option can be given only to employees who don’t need to be physically present in the office.
Priority will be given to federal government employees who live far from their workplaces or have exceptional circumstances.
School and office timings are reduced during the holy month of Ramadan as Muslims abstain from food and water during the day with mosques hosting the extended late evening and post-midnight prayers. The marquees have been cancelled for the past two years to prevent gatherings and limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The UAE announced on Monday evening the return of iftar tents during Ramadan for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Authorities in the UAE have also issued protocols governing the setup of Iftar tents during Ramadan.
Permits for Iftar tents have to be obtained prior to set up from the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), with local committees and National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) teams in each emirate being authorized to approve the setup of these tents and determine their locations in coordination with the ERC.