“Having equal holidays among the public and private sector is one of the best moves the UAE government has done for all expatriates. It makes us happy and feel treated equally.”
DUBAI: The UAE Cabinet has moved to provide equal number of holidays for government employees and the private sector – a move hailed by the Filipino community, which has long been wishing this to happen.
By virtue of the decree, there are now 14 official, unified holidays – up three more from the previous 11 days for the private sector.
According to Emirates News Agency, the UAE government’s public information arm which announced the Cabinet move, the new decree aims to achieve a balance between the two sectors and support the national economy.
The decision aims to enhance the balance between the two sectors and support the national economy in its various fields.
The decision will also contribute to streamlining work in both the public and private sectors, and enhance the attractiveness of the private sector for Emiratis.
The decision will also make it easier for citizens and residents to plan their vacations in advance and to strengthen social ties between all segments of society.
The UAE private sector has a combined workforce of over 5.26 million, officials said.
In January, Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade told WAM that more than 338,000 private sector companies in the UAE with 5.26 million people in the workforce.
Al Saleh said: “The private sector’s contribution to the UAE GDP grew 5 percent to 70.5 percent in 2018 in translation of the government’s growing interest in the sector, being a key driver of economic growth.”
Public holidays for the public and private sectors 2019: Eid Al Fitr (29 Ramadan-3 Shawwal), Arafah Day (9 Dhu al Hijjah), Eid Al Adha (10-12 Dhu al Hijjah), Hijri New Year (1 Muharram 1441), Commemoration Day (1 December), National Day ( 2-3 December).
Public holidays for the public and private sectors 2020: New Year (1 January 2020), Eid Al Fitr (29 Ramadan-3 Shawwal), Arafah Day (9 Dhu al Hijjah), Eid Al Adha (10-12 Dhu al Hijjah), Hijri New Year (23 August), Commemoration Day (1 December), National Day ( 2-3 December).
Random man-on-the-street interviews and Facebook crowdsourcing done by The Filipino Times unveiled a unanimous sense of joy in the Filipino community, which has long been wishing to see the day when private sector have the same number of holidays as government employees.
“Having equal holidays among the public and private sector is one of the best moves the UAE government has done for all expatriates,” said Engr. Frankie Boton, adding that the decision “makes us happy and feel treated equally.”
The same is true with Engr. Elmer Casao, chairman of Bayanihan Council – Abu Dhabi, an aggrupation of Filipino organizations in the UAE capital city, who said:
“Malaking advantage yun para sa Filipino community. Kung makikita natin – fairness yung unang tinitignan dyan. Holidays are now fair for everyone.”
For his part, social media strategist Anthony Deleon said, “one key gripe of a private sector employee is that we don’t get the same amount of days off during holiday breaks as compared to our government counterparts.”
“Gone are the days,” said Noemi Agapito, medical practitioner, “when we would be at work and at the same time feel happy for government workers because they are on holiday, though we’d wish we were, too.”
Retail and F&B workers
Perhaps the only industry sector not affected by this are the retail as well as food and beverage, which are actually busy during holidays when people go shopping and dining out.
“Hindi naman kami apektado kasi mas busy nga kami kapag walang pasok,” Danny Fuentavilla, burger joint staff, said. (It’s business as usual for us. In fact, we are busier during holidays.)
Amelia Sanchez, mall stall employee agreed. “May shifting naman pero usually dahil sa dami na tao, all hands on deck kami.” (We do shifting but usually as we have huge footfall, all hands are on deck.) With a report from Neil Bie