Saturday, July 30, will be an official paid holiday for all private sector employees in the UAE on the occasion of Islamic new year (1444H).

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) said this is in line with the decree issued by the UAE Cabinet to unify 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 official days off for national and religious events.

Unlike the Gregorian New Year, which is based on the solar system, the Islamic New Year is based on the lunar system. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Earlier this month, Ibrahim Al Jarwan, member of the International Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, noted that the Islamic New Year — also called the Hijri New Year or Arabic New Year — would fall on July 30 this 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. December 1, 2 and 3 would be the days off; December 4 is a Sunday and that makes it a four-day holiday.