x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Eid break has little effect on local businesses

Many employees in the UAE have taken off for the Eid holidays, but employers say much of the holiday time was already scheduled.

While many employees had requested leave for Eid Al Fitr, companies say it has had a minimal effect on business.

Sherif Rizwan, chief executive of online retailer ALshop.com, said none of his 60 staff members had the full week off.

“Most people – I would say about 60 per cent or so – had both Eid days off on Monday and Tuesday but everyone is back to normal today,” Mr Rizwan said.

Ramadan was good for his business, he said, so it operated with a smaller team of about 15 people in the sales and distribution departments over Eid.

“We had people volunteer because they wanted to work over the holiday period and they will get the time back in compensation,” Mr Rizwan said.

“Unlike the government sector, which was off all week, I think most private business will be back on Wednesday or Thursday. The two-day break didn’t really have an impact on us.”

Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer at Jacky’s electronics company in Dubai, said there had been minimum impact because the Eid holidays coincided with normal summer holidays.

“People with children had already booked this period of the year off because of the school holidays, and we factor that in,” Mr Panjabi said.

Between 15 and 20 people were on leave out of 160 sales staff, but it had no effect on operations.

“In terms of management, we have a few more off, so I’m working this week but as people come back next week I’ll go on leave,” Mr Panjabi said.

“We advise our staff that they can book any time off as long as it is not during Gitex and the Shopping Festival, which are our busiest periods.

“That still leaves 10 months of the year they can go on holiday.”