Ramadan 2024: Private Sector Working Hours Confirmed


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Great news for private sector employees in the UAE! The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has confirmed working hours for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan.

Following the announcement for the public sector earlier today, MOHRE took to social media to unveil the guidelines for private companies. Here’s what you need to know:


Reduced Working Hours:

  • Two hours less per day: Private sector employees will be entitled to a two-hour reduction in their daily working hours during Ramadan.
  • Standardized for all: Regardless of an employee’s religious affiliation, everyone working in the private sector will benefit from this reduced schedule.
  • In line with previous years: This year’s recommendations mirror the working hours implemented during Ramadan 2023, offering consistency and predictability.

Flexibility and Remote Work:

  • Nature of work matters: The announcement acknowledges that some jobs may require adjustments due to their specific nature. Companies are encouraged to implement flexible or remote work arrangements to accommodate these situations while adhering to the overall two-hour reduction in daily working hours.

Understanding the Context:

  • Current UAE labor law: As a reminder, under normal circumstances, private sector employees in the UAE work eight hours per day with a one-hour lunch break.
  • Federal decree in action: This reduction in working hours during Ramadan is stipulated by the UAE’s federal decree law No.33.

A Unique Ramadan:

  • Wintertime fasting: This year, Ramadan will begin next week, marking the first time since the year 2000 that the holy month coincides with winter in the UAE.
  • Exact date pending: The official start date for Ramadan is yet to be definitively confirmed. This will be announced by the UAE’s moon sighting committee, likely convening this weekend.

Impact and Significance:

The confirmation of reduced working hours during Ramadan comes as a welcome relief for private sector employees in the UAE. This practice acknowledges the challenges of fasting during extended daylight hours and allows individuals to participate fully in the religious observances central to the holy month. It also underscores the UAE’s commitment to providing a balanced and respectful work environment for its diverse population.

While the exact start date of Ramadan remains to be confirmed, knowing the established working hours provides clarity for businesses and employees alike, allowing them to plan ahead and prepare for the upcoming significant period.

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