Ramadan 2021: UAE announces Ramadan working hours for government staff

Directive issued by Federal Authority for Government Human Resources on Thursday

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The UAE announced working hours for government employees during Ramadan.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources said working hours would be from 9am until 2pm.

The holy month is expected to start on April 12, but the final date will be confirmed by the UAE's Moon-sighting committee.

The Moon-sighting committee – a group of astronomers, court officials and advisers from the country's Islamic authority – typically convenes after maghrib, or sunset, prayers on the 29th day of Sha’ban to look for the new crescent moon. If they spot it, Ramadan begins the following day. If not, Sha'ban will last 30 days and Ramadan will begin thereafter.

Article 65 of the UAE Labour Law states that the normal working hours for the private sector is 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week.

However, government entities are not governed by the Labour Law and they normally operate a seven-hour work day.

These hours are reduced by two hours daily during the holy month.

A man looks for the new crescent moon to indicate the start of a new Islamic month. Pawan Singh / The National

Last month, education chiefs across the country amended the school day ahead of the start of Ramadan.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai's private education regulator, said private schools would have to cut their school day to five hours from the usual seven.

Private schools in Abu Dhabi would also have their school hours reduced to five.

Abu Dhabi private schools cannot start the day before 9.30am and must end by 3.30pm.

The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) stated the school day will last between three and five hours throughout the holy month.

Schools have been directed to assign less homework and conduct fewer tests during this period.