Oman announces two-day public holiday to mark Al Isra Wa Al Miraj

Al Isra Wa Al Miraj is not named on a list of public holidays previously announced by the UAE Cabinet

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Oman has announced a two-day public holiday to mark Al Isra Wa Al Miraj next week.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said issued a royal decree declaring both April 3 and April 4 as days off for the Islamic holiday, which celebrates the night the Prophet ascended to Heaven.

In previous years, the UAE has followed suit in calling the Islamic holiday.

But it does not appear on a list of holidays announced for 2019 and 2020 by the UAE Cabinet earlier this year.

Public and private sector workers will have 14 official days off this year, in an effort to achieve balance between the two sectors and support the economy.

Known as the Prophet’s Ascension or the Night Journey, Al Isra Wa Al Miraj are the two parts of Prophet Mohammed’s journey from Makkah to Jerusalem during one night.

He is said to have travelled on a winged horse before ascending to Heaven to speak to God, who gave him instructions to take back to Muslims regarding the details of prayer.

Al Isra Wa Al Miraj will, however, be a dry day in Dubai, according to a circular issued by Dubai Tourism. Hotels will refrain from serving alcohol between 6pm on Tuesday, April 2 and 7pm on Wednesday, April 3 to mark the occasion.

The next public holiday the UAE can look forward to will be for Eid Al Fitr, which occurs at the end of Ramadan.

This is likely to fall on Monday June 3, although it depends on when Ramadan begins and ends. The number of days off will also vary depending on whether Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days, which is dependent on the lunar cycle.