UAE residents will enjoy at least 13 public holidays in 2024, according to a list announced by the country’s Cabinet. Four of the seven official occasions will translate into extended weekends, with the longest being a six-day break.
These holidays are in addition to the 30 annual leaves employees can take in a year. Multiple travel surveys conducted over the past few months have revealed that majority of expatriates in the UAE use their annual leaves to travel to their home countries. They earmark public holidays and the extended weekends that come with them for vacations around the world or staycations.
Most of the dates announced on Tuesday were as per the Islamic calendar. To help you plan 2024 better, we have used the Hijri calendar published on the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) website to calculate the Gregorian calendar dates.
Hijri calendar months last 29 or 30 days, depending on when the crescent Moon is spotted. The actual dates will be announced by the relevant authorities based on this closer to the occasion.
Happy New Year: 3-day weekend
UAE residents will begin 2024 with a long weekend. The first official holiday of the new year, January 1, is a Monday, which translates into a three-day weekend. This means you get to rest an entire day after ringing in 2024 on New Year’s Eve.
Eid Al Fitr: 6-day break
This Islamic festival marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The government has specified that Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3 will be a public holiday. This is about four or five days off, depending on whether the month lasts 29 or 30 days, respectively.
As per the Hijri calendar published on the IACAD website, Ramadan will have 29 days. Based on this, the corresponding Gregorian calendar dates are: Tuesday, April 9, till Friday, April 12. When you factor in the Saturday-Sunday weekend, this is a six-day break.
Arafah Day, Eid Al Adha: 5 days off
Considered the holiest day in Islam, Arafah Day is observed on Dhul Hijjah 9. Islamic festival Eid Al Adha is celebrated over the three days after. The corresponding Gregorian calendar dates are: Sunday, June 16, to Wednesday, June 19. Including the weekend (Saturday, June 15), that’s five days off to mark the festival.
Islamic New Year: 1-day holiday
The second new year of 2024 falls somewhere in July. Muharram 1, which is the first day of the Hijri year, is expected to fall on Sunday, July 7. No long holiday there, but it’s a day off for those without a Sunday weekend.
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday
It’s believed to be on Rabi Al Awwal 12. The date on the Gregorian calendar is not immediately clear.
The year’s last official holiday is a long one. December 2 and 3 fall on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. When combined with the Saturday-Sunday weekend, that’s a four-day holiday.
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