The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government announces the list of Public Holidays in UAE at the beginning of every year. The Hijri calendar is the official reference to determine Islamic occasions, such as the beginning of Ramadan, Eid or Haj. It is based on the phases of the moon. Thus, the exact dates of Islamic events vary from one Gregorian year to another as they depend on the local sightings of the moon.
The list of UAE public holidays is an official reference to determine special occasions in the Islamic calendar, as well as other dates designated for celebrating important events. Those working in the public sector can expect more days off than those in the private sector. Public holidays are paid, and may not count towards an employee’s annual leave.
By using our guide, you can plan your year to upcoming 2018 public holidays in 2018 and all the long weekends this year. Major public and private sector holidays include Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, and Eid Al Adha, with residents most likely to leave on vacation.
During winter break, students will receive a three-week school holiday while teachers will have two weeks off work. Meanwhile, students at most schools also get an additional two and a half week holiday during spring break. Longest school holidays are during summer when students enjoy a seven-week break and six weeks for teachers, which now coincides with Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.
All federal ministries, public departments and institutions will be closed on the following holidays.
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**This page will be updated throughout the year, with the latest dates as it is announced.
|Jan 01||Mon||New Year’s Day|
|Apr 13||Fri||Leilat al-Meiraj (The Prophet’s Ascension)|
|May 16||Wed||Ramadan begins|
|Jun 14/15*||Thu/Fri||Eid-al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)|
|Jun 14*||Thu||Eid-al-Fitr Holiday 1|
|Jun 15*||Fri||Eid-al-Fitr Holiday 2|
|Aug 20*||Mon||Arafat (Haj) Day|
|Aug 21/22||Tue/Wed||Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)|
|Aug 21*||Tue||Eid-al-Adha Holiday 1|
|Aug 22*||Wed||Eid-al-Adha Holiday 2|
|Sep 11*||Tue||Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)|
|Nov 19||Mon||Mouloud (The Prophet’s Birthday)|
|Nov 30||Fri||Commemoration Day|
|Dec 02/03||Sun/Mon||National Day|
|Dec 31||Mon||New Year’s Eve|
|Dubai Private Schools – Academic Year 2018/2019|
|Start of academic year||Apr 2, 2018|
|Summer break begins||Jul 1, 2018|
|Return from summer break||Sep 2, 2018|
|Winter break begins||Dec 16, 2018|
|Return from winter break||Jan 6, 2019 (Three Weeks)|
|End of academic year||Between Mar 14-21, 2019|
|Return from spring break||Apr 1, 2019|
|Asian Schools in Dubai – Academic Year 2017/2018|
|Start of academic year 2017-2018||Apr 2, 2017|
|Summer break begins||Jun 25, 2017|
|Return from summer break||Sep 5, 2017|
|Winter break begins||Dec 24, 2017|
|Return from winter break||Jan 7, 2018|
|End of academic year||Between Mar 22-25, 2018 *|
|New academic year begins 2018-19||Apr 2, 2018|
Here are details of the UAE Public Holidays:
New Year’s Day which is on January 1, marks the start of the year in the Gregorian calendar.
Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj is an Islamic holiday which is observed annually on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab, according to the Hijiri calendar. The holiday marks the night Allah took Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to heaven.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Hijri calendar. The first day of Ramadan is just after the 29th or the 30th day of Shaaban. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Eid-al-Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. It marks the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting and prayer. Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid al-Fitr.
It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage. At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat.
Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice), is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holiest of the two. It honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to Allah’s command, before Allah intervened, through his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.
Islamic New Year is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year. It is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.
Martyrs’ Day is observed in the UAE on November 30 every year to salute the martyrdom of Emirati heroes who lost their lives defending the sovereignty of the nation.
Muslims observe the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) birthday on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal.
National Day is celebrated on 2nd December each year in the United Arab Emirates. It marks the UAE’s formal nationalisation and the eventual, federal unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day country, headed by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the federation’s first president.
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