The UAE announced working hours for private sector employees during Ramadan.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said yesterday working hours would be reduced by two hours during the holy month.
These reduced hours were revealed by Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Nasser Al Hamli.
Ramadan 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’s Labour Law states that the normal working hours for the private sector are eight a day or 48 hours a week, though many employees typically work nine-hour days.
On Thursday, the working hours for Ramadan for government employees across the country were confirmed.
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources said working hours would be from 9am until 2pm.
Government departments typically work a seven-hour day outside of the holy month.
Last month, education chiefs across the country amended the school day before the start of Ramadan.
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai’s private education regulator, said private schools would have to cut their day to five hours from the usual seven.
Mohammed Darwish, chief executive of permits and compliance at the authority, said schools could choose what times they start and end after consulting with parents.
“During Ramadan, the whole school community – including pupils, teachers and parents – will be spending extra time in prayer with their families,” Mr Darwish said.
“We ask schools to be mindful of this with regards to the amount of homework and assignments set for pupils.”
Private schools in Abu Dhabi will also shorten the school day to five hours.
Abu Dhabi private schools cannot start the day before 9.30am and must end by 3.30pm.
The Sharjah Private Education Authority said 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.