Muharram 1, which marks the start of the Islamic new year (1444H), will be a paid holiday for employees of the UAE’s ministries and federal entities.
Its corresponding date on the Gregorian calendar is likely to fall on Saturday, July 30, as per astronomical calculations. The actual date will be determined by the sighting of the crescent moon.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) had earlier announced that Saturday, July 30, would be an official paid holiday for all private sector employees to mark the Islamic new year.
While this doesn’t mean a long weekend for those who get Saturday-Sunday off, it will be a welcome relief for those working on Saturdays.
The next official holiday also falls on a Saturday — October 8, to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).
The holiday to mark the Commemoration Day and UAE National Day would translate into a four-day weekend for residents. December 1, 2 and 3 would be the days off; December 4 is a Sunday and that makes it a four-day holiday.
The UAE had unified the official holidays of public and private sectors in 2021 and 2022. Unified holidays mean that Emiratis and expats working in government departments and private companies are entitled to the same number of official days off for national and religious events.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is based on the solar system, the Islamic one — also known as Hijri calendar — is based on the lunar system. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. The Hijri calendar consists of 12 months determined by the lunar cycle.
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