Ramadan’s one of these events that is tiring, but even more so than most. During this month-long festival, Muslims will fast during daylight hours and will not even drink water until the last light of the sun has all but disappeared, and cease eating and drinking the moment that light returns.
Of course as you’d imagine, this means that tensions are high, stomachs are empty and dehydration, especially in warmer climates, is at an all-time high. As such, working hours in the Gulf region are cut significantly, with all employees having to work no more than six hours per day. This is enforced by law as practitioners of Ramadan are extremely susceptible to overworking when undergoing this festival. Most non-practitioners will receive the same benefit but may be excluded should they be in Dubai’s International Financing Centre. Additionally, all fasting employees whom choose to work more than six hours are entitled to their statutory rest break of up to one hour as if they were working a full day.
This law is applicable to all companies within the United Arab Emirates and all companies are expected to be fully compliant. The authorities will do regular checks and if a company is found to be in breach of labour laws then the company may find itself penalized for the infraction. All employees must be paid as if they were working normal working hours and no reduction in pay should occur. However, it’s important to note that these laws varying from region to region and so you should check your local laws with your local labour bureau.
If you’d like to experience this custom for yourself and find out just what Ramadan is about, why not read up on our article on Ramadan: Cultural Respect and National Reverence or check our jobs board for jobs in the United Arab Emirates?