[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Emirates changes days of weekend
Dubai seafront
The UAE is looking beyond Gulf shores for its future wealth
The United Arab Emirates says it will move its official weekend - a decision aimed at helping to improve business contacts with Western states.

The change from a Thursday-Friday weekend to a Friday-Saturday one will come into force in September.

The current weekend severely limits the amount of business hours that companies share with their European counterparts.

The move is expected to be widely welcomed, although it will put the UAE out of step with Gulf neighbours.

It is not known why the Emirates adopted a Thursday-Friday weekend a decade ago, but BBC Gulf correspondent Julia Wheeler says speculation centred on pressure from its powerful Saudi neighbour to standardise Gulf countries' weekends.

However, since then, any company dealing with Europe has only three half- days of mutual office hours.

Many firms in the UAE are owned by the ruling families of the seven Emirates, and our correspondent says it is clear that if they want compete on a global scale - beyond the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council borders - they must be more accessible during the week.


SEE ALSO
Dubai reaches for the sky
10 Aug 05 |  Middle East
UAE to allow construction unions
30 Mar 06 |  Business
Emirates tartan is rediscovered
22 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Hello Dubai
07 Nov 05 |  Magazine
Country profile: United Arab Emirates
20 Apr 06 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific