Bank of America, Societe Generale to follow new weekend in the UAE
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Bank of America, Societe Generale to follow new weekend in the UAE

Bank of America, Societe Generale to follow new weekend in the UAE

From January, the UAE will adopt a Monday-Thursday work week with Friday being a half day

Bank of America and Societe Generale will adopt a Monday-Friday workweek in the United Arab Emirates from the start of January, people familiar with the matter said, following the Gulf nation’s decision to switch weekends.

A BofA memo said the bank welcomed the move as it aligns the country with major economies, and employees requiring flexibility on Friday can discuss schedules with managers, according to a person who has seen the internal document.

The shift is unlikely to have a major impact on SocGen, which doesn’t have trading desks in Dubai or Riyadh, according to two people who have seen a memo from the bank.

While Dubai is the region’s main business and financial hub, most international banks have staff in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest economy. The initial memos didn’t hint at any imminent relocations.

BofA and SocGen weren’t immediately available for comment.

Like other Arab Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE currently has a Sunday-Thursday working week. The changes will come into effect Jan. 1 and apply to the public sector and schools. There will be a 4 1/2-day week with Friday being a half day, the federal government said earlier this month.

The UAE hasn’t said whether the private sector would have to adopt the new week, with the door being left open for companies to decide how to allocate resources. This could set firms up for a potentially tricky juggle between regional and global markets at a time when working practices worldwide have been transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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