UAE Has Least Public Holidays in MEA Region
According to the Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines, UAE employees get only nine public holidays, the lowest number across the Middle East and Africa region, as reported by Emirates24/7.
"Public holiday numbers are fluid so the data does change year-on-year. Countries often hold quadrennial or one-off holidays for specific cultural or religious events and some leave the final decisions to local governments," explains a Mercer spokesperson.
UAE employees are entitled to annual leave as well as sick leave, in addition to the public holidays mentioned; however, considering the public holidays as a separate measure, UAE personnel work harder than a lot other countries in the report.
With only 8 public holidays, the UK and the Netherlands work a day more, according to the Mercer data.
Employees in India and Colombia enjoy the 18 days of public holidays, topping the list, whereas Mexicans only get 7 days, the lowest figure in the report.
“A smaller statutory holiday allowance provided to nationals is often offset by a more substantial provision of public holidays and vice versa, for example the Philippines has a statutory minimum holiday entitlement of five days but has 14 days of public holiday.”
“Countries want to attract investment by showing they have a productive and available workforce. Portugal, for example, has taken the drastic measure of suspending four of the country’s 14 public holidays in a bid to increase productivity and send a message to possible investors,” the report states.