UAE residents wake to first Friday of the new working week

The usual rush hour failed to materialise as many worked and studied from home

Residents across the country woke to the first Friday of the new working week this morning, one month after the UAE weekend change was announced.

While some public sector employees have the flexibility to work from home on Fridays, federal government employees were told earlier this week that the majority have to be in their offices from 7.30am to noon.

Additionally, most private companies who made the switch to a Monday-to-Friday working week also require workers to come to their offices and workspaces on Fridays.

Quiet roads

Roads remained relatively quiet during the morning rush hour as residents completed the first full new-look working week.

While some of the usual commuter hotspots saw traffic build for short periods, including Hessa Street in Dubai, the quiet start to Friday suggested that many people continued to work and study from home amid the rising Covid-19 case numbers in the UAE.

Strict return-to-work policies requiring some workers to have a negative PCR test result to work from the office could also have resulted in less traffic.

According to Waze, the navigation app owned by Google, small amounts of traffic were reported on some commuter hotspots, such as Hessa Street in Dubai, but overall traffic was clear.

As families return from trips overseas and with some schools practising remote learning, the next few weeks will determine whether roads will continue to be quiet or become more congested on Friday mornings, as people get to grips with the new working week.

Under the new arrangements, schools and workers in the public sector across the country will work a half-day on Fridays, with schools wrapping up their day at noon and workplaces closing for the weekend no later than 12.30pm.

Most private sector companies will continue to work a full day on Friday.

At 8.20am on Friday, Dubai Police warned motorists of congestion on Airport Road following an accident.

On its official Twitter account, the force said delays were reported opposite Dubai Airport Cargo Village, towards Al Muraqqabat.

Updated: January 7th 2022, 8:14 AM