Equal days off on both sides

The UAE government announced the official dates for national holidays for the year 2019-2020, granting the private sector the same number of holidays as the public sector.

The government sent out a tweet from their official Twitter account, saying that it will be granting equal days off in an effort to achieve a balance between the two sectors and supporting the national economy. Previously, the public sector enjoyed longer holidays, as they were given additional days off, but starting this year, both sectors will be given 14 days of national holiday.


Notably, there were two public holidays missing from the list: Israa Wa Miraaj and Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH)  birthday. On previous years, the government used to announce the estimated dates for Islamic holidays which are subject to local sightings of the moon; however, it seems like this year they are waiting for official confirmation before announcing the holidays.

Moreover, the private sector, who usually get one day off in celebration of the UAE National day, which falls on December 2, will get to enjoy two-days off this year. December 1 is also a public holiday for Commemoration Day which falls on November 30 (a Saturday), so we’ll likely get a five-day weekend to kickstart December.

This decision will contribute to streamlining work in both sectors, as well as draw Emiratis to the private sector. It will also make it easier for citizens and residents to plan their holidays in advance.

Here’s the full confirmed list of UAE public holidays:

New Year’s Day: January 1:

The UAE has already announced that New Year’s day will be a public holiday. Both public and private sectors will have Tuesday January 1 off, with work resuming on Wednesday January 2

Eid Al Fitr: depends on moon sighting

Eid Al Fitr is the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. The dates are based on moon sightings, but are expected to fall between June 4 to 5. Residents should expect to get two days off based on when it falls during the week, as this is usually the case with Eid Al Fitr.

Arafat Day: depends on moon sighting

Arafat Day marks the second day of the annual Hajj (the Muslim pilgrimage). The holiday takes place the day before the start of Eid Al Adha. The date of Arafat is based on moon-sighting, but is expected to fall on August 10, which is a Saturday.

Eid Al Adha: depends on moon sighting

Eid Al Adha is the celebration of sacrifice. It honours Prophet Ibrahim, and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for Allah – his son is willing to oblige, before Allah sent his angel Jibra’il, to inform Prophet Ibrahim that he has already accepted the sacrifice from his heart.

To mark this occasion, goats are sacrificed and divided into three parts: one part for the family, one part for relatives, and one part for the poor. The three-day holiday is expected to begin on Sunday, August 11, which could mean another long weekend for us.

Islamic New Year: depends on moon sighting

In 2019 the Islamic New Year is expected to fall on September 1, which will be a Sunday. This could possibly also be another long weekend. However, the official date of the holiday is subject to moon-sighting.

Commemoration Day: November 30 –

Commemoration Day, which is sometimes referred to as Martyr’s Day, is a public holiday on November 30. This holiday was announced by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, back in 2015 to honour Emiratis who have died for their country.

November 30 is going to be on a Saturday in 2019.

UAE National Day: December 2

The UAE’s National Day is celebrated on December 2. Next year will be the UAE’s 48th National Day. In 2019, December 2 will be a Monday, and as we usually get one or two days as holiday, this will probably be another long weekend.


The UAE government announced the school calendars and holidays until 2021

The UAE is set to ‘enhance and improve’ end-of-service gratuity system

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Media: Getty