At home in the States, there are few things more rewarding than walking out of work on a Friday evening. You sprint to your car, fasten your seatbelt, turn up the Friday evening mix on the radio, and prepare to get into whatever that weekend has in store. Here in the UAE on Fridays, it is virtually a ghost town. Why? Because Friday is the Holy Day here (much like our Sunday at home). Most of the locals spend time with their family, head to the mosque for prayer, and generally keep a low profile until the evening. Most of the expat community use Friday morning to head to church, to the grocery stores, and to get some much needed rest. Friday morning is the primetime to take care of errands and avoid the crowds that typically linger in the stores, since the locals are not usually out. Since Friday is much like our Sunday at home, many businesses and all government agencies are closed.
So, since Friday is like Sunday, Thursday becomes the new Friday. Thursday nights are beyond lively in the UAE. Folks leave work on Thursday much like we would leave work on Fridays at home. The streets are paved with shoppers, the happy hours are rocking, and folks are excited to start the weekend. I now have a new appreciation for Thursday.