UAE holidays

The government of UAE announces the dates of Public Holidays at the start of every year. This UAE holiday list includes various Islamic festivals, important public and private sector holidays.

The Islamic festivals celebrated by UAE people mainly follows the Hijri calendar. The dates of Islamic festivals may vary as they depend on the moon sights. These festivals may include Eid Al Fitr, Beginning of Ramadan, Eid Al Adha etc.,

The public and private sector may also have holidays and the main holidays of them include UAE National Day, UAE Commemoration Day etc.,

Here is the list of all the holidays that are expected in UAE in the year 2019.

Week Day Date Holiday Holiday Category Holiday Duration
Tuesday January 1 New Year National holiday 1
Wednesday April 3 Israa and Miraj Night National holiday 1
Monday May 6 Ramadan start Observance 1
Tuesday June 4 Eid Al Fitr National holiday 3
Wednesday June 5 Eid Al Fitr Holiday National holiday 3
Saturday August 3 Hajj season begins Observance 1
Saturday August 10 Arafat Day National holiday 1
Sunday August 11 Eid Al Adha National holiday 3
Saturday August 31 Al Hijiri National holiday 1
Sunday November 9 Milad-un- Nabi(Prophet Mohammad’s birthday) National holiday 1
Saturday November 30 UAE Commemoration Day National holiday 1
Monday December 2 UAE National Day National holiday 2

New Year’s Eve(January 1st)

Ever experienced heaven on earth? That’s exactly how it would be when you witness UAE on the eve of New year. Fireworks at Pal Jumeirah which resemble the shape of palm makes you believe that you are landed in some wonderland altogether. You can view some spectacular fireworks at Burj Al Arab, Umm Sequim Park, Dubai Police Academy, Jumeirah beach and Medinet Jumeirah. Burj Khalifa, the iconic charm of Dubai also stands as a center of attraction on New Year.

Isra Wal Miraj(April 3rd)

Celebrated on the day when Prophet Mohammad had a nighttime journey from Makkah to farthest mosque in Jerusalem, Al Isra Wal Miraj marked as one of the major holidays celebrated among Muslims. Muslims believe that on this auspicious day, Mohammad was taken from Makkah to the farthest mosque by Archangels who provided him Buraq. Later Mohammad ascends to heaven from the mosque of Jerusalem.

Muslims usually offer prayers 5 times a day as said by Allah to Mohammad and this tradition is followed even after 1400 years now.

Isra Wal Miraj falls on the 27th day of Islamic Month of Rajab.

Ramadan starts(May 6th)

Ramadan is considered one of the important and holy seasons for Muslims and is treated as an occasion to celebrate the period when Quran got revealed to Prophet Mohammad.  During the Ramadan season, Muslims fast from early in the morning till dawn falls in the evening though pregnant women, children, sick people are exempted from the fasting. Muslims usually rise early and have a pre-dawn meal during Ramadan before offering the dawn prayers. The starting and ending of Ramadan depend on the sighting of the New moon.

Eid Al Fitr(June 4th or 5th)

Eid Al Fitr stands as the day when Muslims break their fast after 27-30 days of fasting during Ramadan. Celebrated at the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr is the only day where Muslims are not allowed to fast.

On this day, Muslims offer prayers(Faraz Namaz) by gathering in large areas like sports arenas, playgrounds in the morning time.

The day falls on the first day of Shawwal and activities like Charity, family gatherings, traditional sweet preparations, wearing new clothes and using perfume are observed on this day.

Hajj season begins (August 3rd)

Hajj in its simplest form means “to attend a journey” and it is the pilgrimage made by Muslims to Kaaba located in Mecca, the sacred place for Muslims. Hajj is the second largest religious gathering of Muslims and is carried out nearly 2-3 millions of Muslims every year. According to them, Hajj is the journey of body and soul at the same time.

The pilgrimage generally starts from 8th to 12th of Du-Al-Hijjah which is the last month of Islamic calendar. During Hajj, each person walks 7 times in a counterclockwise direction around Kaaba, runs back and forth in between hills of Safa and Marwah, drinks water from the Zamzam well, visits Mount Arafat, stays for a night in the plain of Muzdalifa etc.,

Eid Al Adha( August 11th)

Eid Al Adha is one of the important festivals of Muslims that is often referred to as “Festival Of Sacrifice”.

It is believed that on this particular day, Allah appeared to Ibrahim (Abraham) in his dream asking him to sacrifice his son as his test of faith for Allah when Ibrahim didn’t give a second thought of sacrificing his son. Allah then replaced his son with a lamb for the sacrifice.

From that day, Muslims celebrate the day sacrificing an animal either cow or goat as a symbol of Abraham’s devotion and faith towards Allah. The sacrifice is called “Qurbani” and is the most important sacrifice among Muslim communities.

Eid Al Adha starts with morning prayers followed by family get-togethers and distributing three parts of goat’s meat among poor, family members and relatives. Charity plays a crucial role in Eid and people wish each other “Eid Mubarak”(blessed Eid) on this day. Eid falls on the 10th day of last month of Muslims calendar.

Al Hijiri(August 31st)

Al Hijiri marks the starting of Islamic New year and is believed by Muslims as a day where Prophet Mohammad arrived in Madinah after returning from Makkah. This occasion led to the establishment of the first Muslim community and also the beginning of the Islamic era in 622 AD.  

Prophet Mohammad’s birthday(November 9th)

Prophet Mohammad’s birthday also called as Mil-Ad-Un-Nabi usually falls on the 12th day of Rab Al Amul and in the third month of the Islamic calendar depending upon the moon sighting.

The day includes offering prayers, family gatherings, decoration of homes and streets etc.,

UAE Commemoration Day(November 30th)

UAE President Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan declared 30th November of every year as UAE Commemoration Day as recognition of sacrifices made by armed people for their country.

On this day all the nationals, non-nationals, state institutions are involved in activities remembering the great sacrifice of martyrs.

The activities include lowering the flag of the UAE flag to half-mast at all government offices generally and again hoisting the flag after a minute of silence for all the martyrs.

UAE National Day(December 2nd)

UAE National Day stands the union of all the seven emirates of UAE followed by the union of seventh Emirate Ras Al Khaimah.

In the beginning, the six emirates Sharjah, Al Ain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman agreed to get united whereas Rad Al Khaimah was separate. Later in 1972, Ras Al Khaimah also joined hands with the six emirates.

On this grand day, you can witness excited people celebrating the day with fireworks in different places of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.

In 2019, UAE National Day falls on December 2nd.

Holidays for schools

Here’s the academic calendar of UAE of public and private schools that follow the Ministry of Education’s curriculum and foreign curriculum.

The academic calendar of schools that follow the different curriculum for the year 2018-2019.

Ministry of Education’s curriculum for the year 2018-2019

First semester

Description Date Leave period
First day for teachers and administrative staff 26-8-2018  
School begins for students 2-9-2018  
Winter break for students 16-12-2018 to 10-1-2019 20 working days
Winter break for academic staff 23-12-2018 to 3-1-2019 10 working days

Second semester

Description Date Leave period
First day for teachers and administrative staff 6-1-2019  
School begins for students 13-1-2019  
Spring break for students 31-3-2019 to 11-4-2019 10 working days
Spring break for academic staff 31-3-2019 to 4-4-2019 5 working days

Third semester

Description Date Leave period
First day for teaching and administrative staff 7-4-2019  
School begins for students 14-4-2019  
School ends for students 4-7-2019  
School ends for staff 11-7-2019 30 working day period
Number of school days 182 With exam’s days

Ministry of Education’s curriculum for the year 2019-2020

First semester

Description Date Leave period
The beginning of attendance of an academic body 25-8-2019  
The beginning of attendance of students 1-9-2019  
Winter vacation for students 15-12-2019 to 9-1-2020 20 working days
Winter vacation for academic body 22-12-2019 to 2-1-2020 10 working days

Second semester

Description Date Leave period
The beginning of attendance of an academic body 5-1-2020  
Resumption of study 12-1-2020  
Spring vacation for students 29-3-2020 to 9-4-2020 10 working days
Spring vacation for academic body 29-3-2020 to 2-4-2020 5 working days

Third semester

Description Date Leave period
The beginning of attendance of an academic body 5-4-2020  
Resumption of study 12-4-2020  
End of student’s attendance 2-7-2020  
End of the academic body’s attendance 9-7-2020 30 working days
Number of school days 185 With exam’s days

Foreign curriculum for the year 2018-2019

Description Date Leave period
First day for administrative staff 26-08-2018  
School begins for students 2-9-2018  
Winter break for students 16-12-2018 to 2-1-2019 3 weeks
School begins 6-1-2019  
Spring break for students 31-3-2019 to 11-4-2019 2 weeks
Return to school 14-4-2019  
School ends for students 4-7-2019  
School ends for administrative staff 1-7-2019  
Number of school days 182 With exam’s days

Foreign curriculum for the year 2019-2020

Description Date Leave period
Beginning of attendance for the academic body 25-8-2019  
The beginning of students attendance 1-9-2019  
Winter vacation for students 15-12-2019 to 2-1-2020 3 weeks
Resumption of study 5-1-2020  
Spring vacation for students 29-3-2020 2 weeks
Resumption of study 9-4-2020  
End of student’s attendance 2-7-2020  
End of academic body attendance 9-7-2020  
Number of school days 185 With exam’s days
So, these are the different holidays as per 2019 calendar of UAE and with the long weekends that are expected this year, this calendar helps you in planning a vacation by going through it.

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