Thursday evening usually marks the start of the weekend for UAE workers – but not anymore.
For years the UAE has joined many Islamic countries to have Fridays and Saturdays as their days off.
But as a new year begins, the country has officially introduced a Western-style work week that will run Monday through Friday.
Some workers felt a bit offended when they realized they would have to set their alarms for an early start on Friday.
“It hurts so much,” one tweet read.
Rachel King, a 22-year-old Briton who lives in Dubai, told AFP news agency: “I’d rather go (Friday).
“That’s what we all know and love, to have a Friday off and go to some places open and we could do things. But now it’s going to be Saturday.”
There are pros and cons to the switch.
Government employees only need to work half a day on Friday – the Muslim holy day – to be able to attend prayers.
The government says this makes the United Arab Emirates “the first country in the world to introduce a national work week shorter than the global five-day week.”
It could also be a boost for companies based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai – both of which are home to large multinational companies – as their opening hours will be better aligned with economies around the world.
But there are challenges. Some companies have decided to stay Sunday through Thursday, leaving workers out of sync with their families and children.
While Friday could have been rather unpleasant as the UAE got used to its new routine, residents might feel differently on Sunday.
Why? Because they will be able to press the snooze button and enjoy a well-deserved break… instead of working hard as before.