At 2.30pm every weekday, Patrick de Groot picks up his two daughters from school and drives them home for the afternoon.
After helping Chloe, seven, and Jade, four, start their homework, he either stays while they work or nips over to his office 10 minutes away to finish any outstanding projects.
The owner and director of development at DutchKid and JustKidding then returns at 5pm to take care of dinner, bath time and bedtime until his Vietnamese-Korean wife, Sencha, 38, returns from her job as an events manager at Dubai's Armani Hotel.
Mr de Groot is one of the nation's many working fathers who not only wants to be involved in his children's lives, but actually has an active role in their day-to-day schedule.
"For a long time, my wife was the main carer while I worked 60 to 70 hours in my corporate role as director of development for Jumeirah [Group], as well as managing my private business on the weekends. I'd see my children every day for an hour and on the weekends and although it was a shame not to spend more time, that's the way it was," says Mr de Groot, 43, from the Netherlands, who decided to take time out from full-time work when his wife received a good job offer.
"We had an agreement that if she found something she wanted to do, we'd make that happen. So now my focus is my children and my business. We don't want our children brought up by a nanny, and having my own business is an advantage as it means I can decide what hours I work."
Mr de Groot's flexible working arrangement is only a dream for many dads in the UAE. Long hours can ensure fathers are a rare feature in family life.
In a recent online poll by bayt.com, half of the region's fathers said their employer was not sympathetic towards their paternal role and many worked longer hours than they deemed reasonable.
More than half of those questioned felt UAE employers did not show enough flexibility towards working parents, while one in six said more flexibility was given to working mothers than fathers - an interesting statistic considering 42 per cent of the men polled said family was the most important thing in their lives.
"Some companies have a culture of long working hours and would not view an employee favourably if they asked for a better balance," says Lama Ataya, the chief marketing officer at bayt.com. "But in the UAE, more than half of polled respondents stated working fathers would be willing to change jobs for more family friendly arrangements at a pay sacrifice."
Although employers might consider family time a luxury, for some fathers, getting involved in their children's lives is not something they have a choice about.
"With the rising cost of living in the UAE, both mothers and fathers are now opting to work full time," says Ms Ataya.
"And with more women succeeding in the MENA workplace, fathers are being asked to share the responsibilities at home and certainly many modern fathers have welcomed and embraced the opportunity to spend more time with the children helping them with chores, homework and socialising."
This is the reality for Mr de Groot, who takes charge of the daily play dates, after-school activities, homework and bedtime routine.
Although he says he has relished his paternal role because he has grown closer to his daughters, he knows that flexibility will disappear when he returns to full-time corporate work - something he hopes to do later this year.
"It's a shame that you have to make a choice and it would be great if I could continue spending this amount of time with the kids, but you have to be realistic because someone needs to bring in money at some point in time," he says, adding that although he expects to work long hours, he believes fathers simply need to learn to work efficiently to balance their priorities.
"In the end, it's down to you and how you manage your time. I know from working in development that there are plenty of people who can't seem to get out of work. I'm a strong believer in getting your workload managed and making sure you also fulfil your responsibility as a parent by being there before bedtime as often as possible because that's why you have kids in the first place."
Michael Burchell, a partner and director of the Great Place to Work Institute UAE, a global research and management consultancy, says it is not just the employee's responsibility to manage their work-life balance - it is also the responsibility of the employer.
Earlier this year, the institute released its list of the nation's Top 10 employers and while seven of the companies that made the grade offered their employees opportunities such as job sharing, telecommuting, flexible working hours and paid career breaks, Mr Burchell says they do not go far enough.
"These companies are role models in the UAE and can stand toe to toe with companies in other parts of the world, but when it comes to working fathers they still have room to grow," he says, adding that UAE companies often only associate flexible working conditions with working mothers and neglect the needs of fathers.
"It's all very well saying there are wives or maids and nannies to look after the children, but men want to be involved as well.
"There needs to be a mind shift in the UAE with companies creating a culture of caring. At the end of the day, it's not about where you spend your time. It's about whether you got it right and that should apply to men as much as it does to women."
For Gaurav Sinha, 38, the founder and managing director of Insignia, a brand communications agency, finding the balance between work and home life is something he not only manages for himself, but also for his 34 employees.
"Men today have a phenomenal amount of pressure to be bread-winners and good parents as well as performing intelligently and with high productivity at their workplace and a lot of it gets neglected," says Mr Sinha, from India, who set up his company in 2003.
Mr Sinha, who travels regularly for work, tries to balance his priorities by dropping his children at school if his British wife, Lucy, 32, the founder of the charity Harmony House, is busy. He also ensures he gets home before his children, Amelia, two, and Jude, 20 months, go to bed.
"Occasionally, you miss it, but then you balance it by making sure you are up for breakfast with them and there have been occasions where I have gone home, seen them and then gone back to the office if need arises. I'm a father first before I'm a businessman - what's the point of having all the creature comforts if you can't be close to your close ones?"
And because family is so important to him, Mr Sinha also goes out of his way to support the needs of the seven fathers and two mothers on his payroll.
"If a dad needs to stay at home with a sick child or wants to go to sports day - why not? I seriously do not see that as an issue in today's world. It's a culture that's self-governed and I find there is a collective consciousness by people who say 'I came in at 10.30 because I was at a parent-teacher meeting, so I'll work till 7pm and balance it out'.
"And I would happily give a father paid paternity leave. It's on a need-to-know basis - sometimes you give extended sick leave, sometimes you give extra incentives to people who have performed over and above."
But Mr Burchell says while the UAE's culture of openness is a positive sign of change, flexible working procedures that are not set in stone can mean some staff get priority over others.
"If it's not a structured policy, then it's really manager dependent," he says. "If your manager supports you and likes you, then you get an additional opportunity; if she or he doesn't, then you are in trouble."
Mr Burchell stresses that placing value on performance rather than set working hours, providing tools and resources such as BlackBerrys, smartphones and laptops to allow employees to work off-site and offering ongoing support to staff whatever their circumstances is key to a company's success because, ultimately, happy workers make for a better company.
"Wherever we do the list around the world, the top companies consistently outperform their peers in terms of financial performance," says Mr Burchell. "Companies that focus on people as part of their resource and have that as part of their strategy actually do better in the marketplace than those who do not. So if companies are going to be competitive in this global marketplace, then they have to provide opportunities for creativity and innovation and that doesn't necessarily happen between the hours or eight and five."
That's something bayt.com - an employer that made it onto the Top 10 list because of its own flexible working arrangements - would agree with.
"While 38 per cent of UAE working fathers that took part in our poll state a 40-hour workweek is reasonable, only 13 per cent actually work 40 hours a week, with the majority working between 40 to 60 hours," Ms Ataya says.
"That's definitely something for employers to look into more diligently and maybe assess how the productivity of an employee working consistently long hours would be in the long run compared to that of an employee working reasonable hours and managing to maintain a healthy work-life balance."