Breaches of midday break law rise by 70%

ABU DHABI // The number of companies caught violating the midday break law increased by 70 per cent this summer as the Government ramped up inspections. A total of 677 companies across the UAE were found breaking the law, compared to 398 last summer, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The regulation requires employers to let outdoor workers rest from 12.30pm to 3pm in July and August, and to provide a shaded, cooled area for their break. Companies caught breaking the law are fined Dh10,000 (US$2,725) and banned from obtaining new labour permits for three months. The percentage of companies caught by the ministry remained roughly the same as last year, with less than one violation found for every 100 inspections. But last year there were only 45,985 inspections; this year that number increased to 75,209.

Humaid bin Deemas, the acting directing general of the Ministry of Labour, said the number of inspections would continue to increase as the department expanded. "We give high attention to the inspection sector due to its significant role in maintaining society's sustainability and safety," Mr bin Deemas said. "Since we issued the midday break law five years ago, the inspection sector has witnessed significant growth every year, in order to ensure that we are meeting the labour market's growing needs."

The department now has 106 members, and he said the number of inspectors could be expected to rise every year. The Ministry of Labour has tried to encourage more young nationals to join the inspection department, he said. Among the emirates, Dubai had the most violations this summer with 176. It also had the highest number of inspections. Companies cited in the other emirates included 153 in Abu Dhabi, 152 in Ras al Khaimah, 74 in Ajman, 65 in Fujairah, 33 in Sharjah and 24 in Umm al Qaiwain. Sharjah had the lowest percentage of companies breaking the law, at just 0.2 per cent of those inspected.

Inspectors found about 99 per cent of companies across the country were sticking to the rules, compared to 75 per cent when the law first came into force. Of the companies cited this year, 436 were first-time offenders. The other 241 were charged for the second time, and their penalties were doubled. The midday break was introduced in 2005 as a four-hour rest period, but it was reduced to two-and-a-half hours the next year.

The ministry said it also made 6,962 "awareness visits" outside of the midday break hours to make sure employees were aware of their rights and knew how to stay cool when humidity and temperatures soar. The midday summer heat can cause potentially fatal health problems if workers do not keep properly hydrated and stay away from direct sunlight. Hospitals said they still received numerous cases of heat exhaustion despite the break. Ibrahim Abdullah Hospital in Ras al Khaimah said it had about 120 cases during July, including 22 in one day.

However, cases of heat related illnesses seem to be dropping year by year, officials said. The Ministry of Labour has stressed that the regulations covered any companies with employees working outside, not just construction workers, and it was often those in other industries that were caught violating the law.


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Directed by: Craig Gillespie

Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry


Mercedes V250 Avantgarde specs

Engine: 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo

Gearbox: 7-speed automatic

Power: 211hp at 5,500rpm

Torque: 350Nm

Fuel economy, combined: 6.0 l/100 km

Price: Dh235,000


Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

The 12 breakaway clubs


Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 518bhp

Torque: 625Nm

Speed: 0-100kmh 5.3 seconds

Price: Dh633,435

On sale: now

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

The years Ramadan fell in May






Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Ticket prices

General admission Dh295 (under-three free)

Buy a four-person Family & Friends ticket and pay for only three tickets, so the fourth family member is free

Buy tickets at:

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5


Director: Matt Johnson

Stars: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson

Rating: 4/5

match details

Wales v Hungary

Cardiff City Stadium, kick-off 11.45pm

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today