A guide to the UAE's public holidays: when is the next long weekend?

People can look forward to another public holiday on July 18 for Arafat day

As people across the UAE return to work after the long Eid Al Fitr weekend, many are already planning what to do for the next public holiday.

So, when is the next national holiday?

Arafat Day is expected to fall on Sunday, July 18 – meaning another long weekend is due.

This holiday is considered one of the holiest days in the Islamic calendar and marks the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Eid Al Adha

Eid Al Adha falls a day after Arafat, meaning residents in both the public and private sector will probably get an additional three-day break.

This would result in a six-day very long weekend.

Eid Al Adha is expected to fall on the evening of Monday, July 19, until the evening of Thursday, July 22.

Al Adha is Arabic for "the sacrifice". The specific sacrifice this holiday is named after is explained in the Quran, which tells of how Prophet Ibrahim dreamt that God asked him to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a test of his faith.

Eid is a time when families and friends come together to celebrate, usually over a meal.

The day begins with early Eid prayers at a mosque and it is customary for a family to have a goat or sheep sacrificed at an abattoir.

Hijri New Year

Less than a month later, on August 12, people can expect another day off for Hijri New Year. The holiday falls on a Thursday, which means another long weekend.

Also referred to as the Islamic New Year, the day marks the beginning of a new lunar year.

Following Hijri New Year, the next public holiday is expected to fall about two months later, on October 21.

Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday

People across the country will get one working day off in October, for Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday. It is due to fall on a Thursday. This could mean a three-day weekend.

Commemoration Day and UAE National Day

Commemoration Day is marked on December 1 in memory of Emirati martyrs.

The public holiday, previously known as Martyrs' Day, was initially observed on November 30 but was formally moved to December 1 in 2019.

Commemoration Dayfalls on a Wednesday this year, but will be combined with UAE National Day, which takes place on Thursday, December 2 and Friday, December 3.

With both public holidays put together, people across all seven Emirates will wrap up the end of the year with a four-day weekend.

Updated: May 16, 2021 03:53 PM

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