Revealed: Dubai has among the world’s longest working hours

Dubai residents work up to 38 per cent more hours a year than people in some European cities



Residents of Dubai work among the longest hours in the world and up to 30.9 more days a year than their European counterparts, according to data from Swiss bank UBS.

The 2018 ‘Prices and Earnings’ report, which ranks 77 cities based on various metrics, showed the UAE emirate in sixth place globally with an average of 2,323.0 hours worked per year.

This compared to 3,314.7 in first place Mumbai, 2,691.4 in second place Hanoi 2,622.1 in third place Mexico City, 2,511.4 in fourth place New Delhi and 2,357.8 in fifth place Bogota.

The figures were calculated based on survey responses across 15 different professions including bus drivers, carpenters, medical assistants, product managers, teachers and doctors.

In comparison, Doha was the closest Gulf city in terms of annual hours worked in 13th with 2,249.6. Manama stood in 27th with 2,030.7 hours and Riyadh in 28th with 2,012.9 hours.

Generally, cities with the lowest annual working hours were European with the exception of the leader Lagos at 609.4 hours a year. The Nigerian city was followed by Rome with 1,581.4, Paris with 1662.6, Copenhagen with 1,711.9, Moscow with 1,719.6 and Helsinki with 1,740.4.

Cities with the longest annual working hours
(According to the UBS ‘Prices and Earnings’ report)

  1. Mumbai, India – 3,314.7
  2. Hanoi, Vietnam – 2,691.4
  3. Mexico City, Mexico- 2,622.1
  4. New Delhi, India – 2,511.4
  5. Bogota, Columbia- 2,357.8
  6. Dubai, UAE – 2,323.0
  7. Istanbul, Turkey – 2,318.6
  8. Seoul, South Korea – 2,307.2
  9. Manila, Philippines – 2,288.8
  10. Nairobi, Kenya – 2,285.4

Unfortunately, the time worked did not appear to correlate with earnings for cities in the study. UBS positioned Dubai in 36th on its average earnings table with a gross score of 41.1 and Mumbai second from bottom in 76th with a gross score of 6.1.

This compared to a score of 131.5 for first place Geneva and 129.8 for second place Zurich, which stood in 34th and 60th for working hours.

However, Dubai was among the top locations for paid vacation days even if it did not fare so well for expat family living costs.

Read: Dubai among world’s most expensive cities for expats

Read: Dubai among world’s most expensive cities for expats

A separate study of 48 cities by Deutsche Bank ranked salaries in Dubai as the ninth highest in the world with an average income of $3,447 a month.

Read: The Gulf Business Salary Survey 2018

This compared to $5,764 in first place Zurich, $4,974 in second place San Francisco, $4,115 in third place New York and $3,389 in 10th place Frankfurt.