During the Holy Month of Ramadan, employees throughout the UAE will receive shorter work hours. However, for those working in DIFC, the regulations are a little different.

The UAE Labour Law states that working hours will be reduced by two hours during Ramadan, and applies for all employees, fasting or non-fasting.

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While the UAE Labour Law does not differentiate between those fasting and not fasting, under the DIFC Employment Law, only the fasting employees will receive two hours off their work day. Those who will not be fasting may be required to work their regular schedule.


According to Taylor Wessing (Middle East), an international law firm to Emirates 24/7: “Within the DIFC, only fasting employees’ working hours are reduced by two hours. Non-fasting employees can be required to work normal hours.”

However, for the rest of the UAE, those who usually work an eight-hour schedule will only be obliged to work six hours a day – with no reduction to salaries.

According to labour regulations, employers are also not allowed to ask their staff to work from home, and will have to compensate their workers if they choose to do so as these hours will be considered overtime.

Read: 7 Health Tips While Fasting During Ramadan

The authorities do carry out spot checks to make sure that companies are keeping up with the Labour Law regarding Ramadan hours, and if a company is found to be breaking it, they may be subject to a penalty, chosen on a case-by-case basis.

This year, Ramadan is expected to start around Monday June 6, and is likely to end around Tuesday July 5.

The sun is also expected to rise at some time between 5.02am and 5.06am according to TimeAndDate.com, and is looking to set somewhere around 7.34pm to 7.39pm. Which means that those fasting are looking at about 14 hours’ worth of fasting per day.

Read: An Introduction To The Holy Month Of Ramadan

It’s also going to be a hot one – the average temperature in June is predicted to be about 40 degrees Celsius, with temperatures in some parts of the UAE predicted to hit 50 degrees.

If you want to know more about your legal rights as an employee and an employer in the UAE, check out our comprehensive guide.


Image: Getty