Public and private sector workers will have Thursday off to mark Islamic New Year.

Islamic New Year will be marked this weekend, resulting in an extra day off for public and private sector workers, the government has confirmed.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced that Thursday September 21 will be given off to mark the year 1439AH, with all workers enjoying a three-day weekend.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources revealed earlier this week that Hijri, the celebration of the new year, would be marked on the first day of the month of Muharram.

Following the news, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments released a calendar that shows Muharram kicking off on Thursday September 21.

The new unified Hijri calendar is based on Sharia and astronomical principles, said Ahmed Juma Al Za’abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, and chairman of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, Gulf Business reports.

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It was also revealed on Tuesday that the dry night corresponding with the Islamic New Year has, in fact, been changed.

Previously, no alcohol was allowed to be served between sunset on Thursday September 21 and sunset on Friday September 22, however that has now been moved to sunset on Wednesday September 20 to sunset on Thursday September 21, What’s On Dubai reports.

During this time, no alcohol can be served, even in licensed outlets (but no, your Friday brunch plans will no longer be affected).

This isn’t the only holiday we have left in 2017, with the following days off predicted for the rest of the year:

Thursday November 30 – Commemoration Day

A holiday to honour the Emiratis who died while protecting the UAE.

Thursday November 30 (dependent on moon sighting) – Milad Un Nabi

This day marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and is announced by the moon-sighting committee, so may be subject to change. If it does fall on the same date as Commemoration Day, we might just get the one day off or we might get two – it’s really at the government’s discretion.

Saturday December 2 – UAE National Day

This day will mark the 46th UAE National Day, celebrating the unification of the seven emirates and the founding of the country in 1971 – but if you normally have Saturdays off, it’s unlikely you’ll get a long weekend.

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