Summer Is Over
And we've just had our first official Friday/Saturday weekend (as has Bahrain). Now if we can just get the idea into the heads of several thousand companies that a two-day weekend is a splendid idea, and that those two days should be Friday and Saturday, we might just see some progress.
Weekends have always been a total mess in the Arabian Gulf. My very first job in the region involved a five-and-a-half day week: the weekend for me was Thursday afternoon and all day Friday. But some multinational companies took Friday and Saturday. About five or six years ago the UAE Government announced that it was reducing the working week for their employees to five days, but to the astonishment of many (especially Westerners) they settled on Thursday and Friday. Now they have come to their senses but they have not made it compulsory for the private sector.
The working day is also a mess - some companies will do a split-shift that can involve their employees doing their commute home twice a day, while more enlightened companies opt for the 'let's get it over with in one hit' approach. Maybe this spreads out the traffic a bit, but those split shifts certainly create an awful lot of unnecessary travel.
None of this makes much difference to me of course - I just work all the time anyway.